Victor Reyes’ 2-out, 2-run double in 9th rallies Tigers over Padres

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DETROIT — Victor Reyes hit a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning to rally the Detroit Tigers over the San Diego Padres 4-3.

The Padres led 3-2 going into the ninth and brought on closer Taylor Rogers (1-5), who gave up a one-run lead in the ninth on Tuesday night in a game San Diego eventually won in the 10th.

“This is a tough game, especially for a closer,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s been one pitch away on each of the last two nights and it hasn’t worked out.”

This time, Jeimer Canderlario led off with a double before Rogers retired the next two batters. Jonathan Schoop followed with a dribbler down the third-base line for a single that put runners at the corners.

“In the first half of the season, that ball probably rolls foul and Jonathan gets rung up on a borderline third strike,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Winning this series, and even coming back in the ninth inning before losing yesterday — that’s a lot more like the team we were last season.”

Reyes then hit a drive over the head of right fielder Nomar Mazara to win it. Mazara got close to the wall chasing the ball and let the carom bounce past him, and both runners easily scored.

“It’s amazing,” Reyes said of his first walk-off hit. “You don’t usually get a situation where you can change a series with one swing, but that’s what happened today.”

Rogers said his frustration level was high after two bad outings in less than 24 hours.

“In the last few hours, I was really trying to focus on execution,” he said. “I just wanted to get out there, get the first hitter out and go from there. Then I give up the double, which shouldn’t happen, and all of a sudden, we lose the game.”

Michael Fulmer (3-4), the subject of numerous trade rumors, picked up the win with a scoreless ninth.

“If that was the last appearance I make here, I’m appreciative of everything the organization and the fans have done for me,” he said. “If not, I’ll see everyone next week.”

The Padres are 14-21 since June 16.

Yu Darvish, who came into the game with a 7-0 record in seven starts against Detroit, allowed two runs in seven innings, striking out 11.

Candelario, who homered three times in the first two games of the series, gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first.

Tigers starter Tarik Skubal faced the minimum nine batters through three innings, but ran into trouble in a 39-pitch fourth. With one out, Jake Cronenworth singled, and after first baseman Harold Castro dropped a foul pop, Skubal walked Manny Machado on 13 pitches — the longest at-bat of Machado’s career.

A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, and Luke Voit tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Austin Nola walked and Ha-Seong Kim put San Diego ahead 2-1 with an RBI single.

Castro, Miguel Cabrera and Candelario hit consecutive singles in the sixth, with Candelario picking up his eighth RBI of the series on the third.

Joe Jimenez (3-1) struck out three of the first four batters he faced, but one reached base when Haase dropped the third strike and threw wildly to first. That kept the inning going for Jurickson Profar‘s RBI single, putting the Padres ahead 3-2.

“We had some great at-bats today – Manny’s, obviously, and Jurickson’s in the seventh – and we obviously couldn’t ask for more from Yu,” Melvin said. “We had two outs and two strikes in the ninth – we gave ourselves the opportunity to win the game. It just didn’t happen.”

MISSING RELIEVER

Tigers reliever Andrew Chafin, who got four outs in the seventh and eighth innings, will not accompany the team to Toronto because of his COVID-19 vaccination status.

“My wife and I have discussed it at length and we decided not to get vaccinated,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate situation, but family and health come first.”

LATE START

The game was delayed by 20 minutes before starting in a light mist that cleared out in the early innings.

UP NEXT

The Padres have Thursday off to fly home before starting a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins on Friday. Blake Snell (2-5, 4.75) will start the opener against Joe Ryan (7-3, 2.89).

Detroit starts a four-game series in Toronto on Thursday, with Tyler Alexander (2-3, 4.05) moving back into the rotation to pitch the opener.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Matt Olson knew the Atlanta Braves were too talented to stay in a season-long slump.

That’s why no one panicked when the New York Mets’ division lead swelled to double digits in May. Now the Braves are on the cusp of another NL East title.

“It’s a clubhouse full of guys who want to win,” Olson said. “That’s all it’s been since the moment I walked in. That’s No. 1 on the program.”

Dansby Swanson and Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Braves beat New York 5-3 on Sunday night, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closes out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

“We’ve felt this confidence since the beginning of the year,” d’Arnaud said. “It just didn’t go our way early in the year, but pulling on the same rope, having each others’ backs, not trying to do too much. We’re just trying to play the game of baseball and have fun with it.”

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

“We still have three games left in the regular season, we’re still going to the postseason, that doesn’t change, but there’s a lot of learning points that we can take from this series moving forward,” Mets slugger Pete Alonso said. “I thought we played well, but the Braves played better. They played excellent baseball this entire weekend.”

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

“Everyone knew we were underperforming when we were flirting around that .500 range,” Olson said. “It was one of those things where it was trusting the talent we have and the guys in the clubhouse. Everybody was solid, head down, do your work, it’ll turn around and you wind up winning.”

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).