Shin-Soo Choo waved the white flag during Nomar Mazara‘s at-bat on Saturday afternoon. With the Rangers down 3-1 in the seventh inning, Mazara lashed a particularly deadly foul ball off of the Nationals’ Matt Albers, sending it hurtling into the visitors dugout and ripping a sizable gash in the wall. The ball nearly struck Choo, who leapt off of the bench and waved his towel in surrender as Mazara finished his strikeout:
Thankfully, it didn’t look like either player was fazed by the incident. In the ninth, both Choo and Mazara returned to the plate to send the game to extras with a solo home run and RBI double, respectively. Robinson Chirinos secured the win with a three-RBI, 358-foot homer off of Shawn Kelley in the 11th inning.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.