The Tigers were trailing the Indians heading into the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday night at Detroit’s Comerica Park and a loss would have put them back behind the Royals — who defeated the Red Sox on Saturday — in the American League Central standings. That’s when Alex Avila came through with probably his biggest hit of what has been a tough 2014, slugging a go-ahead two-run homer off Cleveland’s Bryan Shaw to give the Tigers the lead.
Torii Hunter saved multiple runs from scoring in the top of the eighth with a two-out diving catch on a looping ball from Yan Gomes. There were baserunners on second and third, and had that ball dropped Aviles’ blast would not have been enough.
The Tigers will be looking to protect their half-game division lead in Sunday’s series finale.
It’ll be Justin Verlander taking on Trevor Bauer.
Your recaps and box scores from Saturday …
Yankees 3, Orioles 2
Braves 2, Rangers 3
Rays 3, Blue Jays 6
Twins 1, White Sox 5 (Game 1)
Marlins 1, Phillies 2
Cubs 6, Pirates 4
Indians 4, Tigers 5
Red Sox 1, Royals 7
Reds 5, Brewers 1
Nationals 10, Mets 3
Rockies 4, Cardinals 5
Twins 6, White Sox 7 (Game 2)
Padres 4, Diamondbacks 10
Astros 2, Angels 5
Dodgers 17, Giants 0
Athletics 3, Mariners 2 (10 innings)
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.