Dodgers 3, Tigers 1, 12 innings
DETROIT (AP)—As his 12th-inning hit rolled through to the outfield, Alex Cora had a feeling his team had all the runs it needed.
Cora then singled up the middle—his first hit in five at-bats Tuesday— and pumped his fist as he headed to first.
“When you get a hit like that, you let your emotions go,” Cora said. “It was not like celebrating, it was more of a relief. Then we bring in the big guy and when you get a lead late in the game, you know he’s going to close the door.”
Eric Gagne pitched the 12th for his 22nd save in 22 opportunities, completing another stellar outing for Los Angeles’ relievers. Prior to Gagne, Paul Shuey (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings, struck out four and lowered his ERA to 0.83.
“I’d like to score a bunch of runs, but if we have a one-run lead, I’ll take our chances with our bullpen,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.
In a game that featured the two lowest-scoring teams in the majors, it took a hit by Cora—just 1-for-21 during the Dodgers’ recent homestand—to break things open.
“I haven’t been swinging the bat at all the last two weeks,” Cora said. “I’ve been trying to pull everything, but it was just a matter of time.
“I got a good pitch to hit and I didn’t try to pull it.”
Detroit had a chance to win the game with two on in the 10th and its best hitter at the plate, but Dmitri Young grounded out to end the inning.
Detroit’s Gary Knotts gave up one run over eight innings, his longest outing in 13 major league starts.
“He did everything to win a ballgame,” Trammell said. “This was a magnificent performance.”
But the Dodgers’ Hideo Nomo made his 10th straight start of at least seven innings, allowing just one run and three hits over seven. He struck out six to raise his season total to 82.
Paul Lo Duca extended his hitting streak to 18 games with an RBI single in the third to open the scoring.
Detroit tied it at 1 in the bottom of the inning when Infante singled, advanced on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt and scored on Bobby Higginson’s groundout.
The game started after a 28-minute rain delay. ^Notes: Dodgers SS Cesar Izturis did not start for just the second time in 63 games on Tuesday. Tracy, who gave Izturis a rare break until putting him in the game in the 12th, said he would argue that he is the best shortstop in the NL. … While many Tigers and Dodgers fans have fond memories of Kirk Gibson hitting World Series homers for each team in the 1980s, Detroit’s bench coach was not in the mood to get nostalgic before Tuesday’s game. “It’s just a game,” Gibson said, brushing off a reporter. … The Tigers said they sold 13,419 tickets. … Alex Sanchez has 11 stolen bases in 11 games with theTigers. … Lo Duca is batting .444 during his hitting streak.