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 Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.
After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.
Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.
Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:
In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?