Diamondbacks 5, Tigers 3, 10 innings
DETROIT (AP)—The Arizona Diamondbacks have several key players on the disabled list, which has created a problem for manager Bob Brenly.
He has no idea how he’s going to get their replacements out of the lineup.
Rookie Robby Hammock drove in three runs, including a two-run homer in the 10th inning that lifted Arizona to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday and extended its franchise-record winning streak to 11 games.
“It seems like our rookies are in the middle of everything right now,” Brenly said. “Not to overlook Gonzo (Luis Gonzalez) and Fins (Steve Finley), but the rookies are getting on base and coming up with big hits to drive in the go-ahead or winning runs. They don’t get rattled and they don’t get awed by the situation—they just go up and do their job.”
Hammock also had an RBI single, and Finley homered for the Diamondbacks.
“We act like rookies off the field,” said Hammock, hitting .321 in 24 games. “But on the field, you are taught to play baseball as soon as you sign. Once you get up here, you are supposed to act like you have been here before. We just try to follow the lead of the older guys.”
Detroit lost its ninth straight and 21st in 23 games. The Tigers (18-61) are the first team in baseball history to lose 60 games before July 1, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball’s statistician.
The 1996 Tigers came closest previously, losing their 60th game on July 2. That team finished 53-109.
“It was a good ballgame, but we just couldn’t finish it off,” manager Alan Trammell said. “We scored two runs in the first inning and one run in the next nine innings. That’s just not enough.”
Finley singled with one out in the 10th, stole second without a throw and went to third on a wild pitch. He scored on Hammock’s homer to left off Chris Spurling.
“The kids have been doing this since they got up here,” Finley said. “They’ve been doing this in spring training for two years and now they are carrying it into the season with us. They are out there in tight games and coming through.”
Spurling (0-1) took the first loss of his career.
Starting pitchers Miguel Batista and Nate Cornejo both ended up with no-decisions. Batista allowed three runs in seven innings, while Cornejo saw his winless streak extend to nine starts despite allowing only two runs in 6 1-3 innings.
“I felt more confidence today—I was able to get the sinker working and get ahead of hitters,” said Cornejo, who had allowed at least six runs in three straight starts. “It just didn’t work out for us in the end.”
Arizona made it 2-1 in the fourth, but missed a chance for more runs. Alex Cintron led off with a walk, went to second on Gonzalez’s single and scored on Hammock’s one-out single.
Detroit increased the lead to 3-1 on Ramon Santiago’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly, but Arizona scored single runs in the next two innings to tie the game.
“Nate hasn’t been going deep into games right now, so I thought it was the right move to make,” Trammell said. “It just didn’t work. That’s how things are going right now.”
Gonzalez led off the eighth with a drive to deep right-center off Jamie Walker, but center fielder Alex Sanchez made a leaping catch against the scoreboard. Finley, though, followed with his 10th homer of the year, tying the game.
“I threw a bad pitch to Gonzo and he crushed it, and then I threw a bad pitch to Finley and he crushed that one,” Walker said. “The first one wouldhave been a homer, too, in any other park.”
Trammell put the team through a one-hour workout before batting practice. They practiced defensive fundamentals after struggling in the field in recent games. … Witt’s homer was the first off Batista since May 21, a span of five outings—including four starts. … Gonzalez had his 11th three-hit game of the year, while Young had his fifth. … Finley’s homer extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Chris Mears made his major leaguedebut, relieving Spurling in the 10th inning.