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Tigers 7, Dodgers 6 (10 innings)

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Catcher Victor Martinez's home run in the top of the 10th inning snapped a 6-6 tie and lifted the Detroit Tigers to a 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Martinez homered off Dodgers right-hander Kenley Jansen (0-1), giving the Tigers a split in the two-game series.

The Tigers seemed to be on their way to a relatively routine victory, taking a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning.

Left-hander Drew Smyly pitched three scoreless innings in relief of starter Anibal Sanchez, giving way to closer Joe Nathan to start the ninth. Nathan (2-0) gave up a leadoff homer to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, but the trouble was only just beginning.

Nathan walked right fielder Andre Ethier and center fielder Matt Kemp, then gave up a single to third baseman Juan Uribe, loading the bases.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sent up Yasiel Puig to pinch-hit, but Puig, out since Saturday because of a sore thumb, struck out on three pitches for the first out of the inning.

Pinch hitter Scott Van Slyke drove in the second run of the inning when he grounded into a fielder's choice, leaving runners at the corners. Second baseman Dee Gordon lined a two-out single to right field to drive in the tying run and send the game into extra innings.

All the excitement felt in the ballpark quickly dissipated when Martinez led off the 10th with a homer. The Dodgers, though, tried to make things interesting in the bottom of the inning.

Shortstop Hanley Ramirez led off with an infield single off right-hander Joba Chamberlain, who was replaced by left-hander Ian Krol. Krol struck out both Gonzalez and Ethier before Tigers manager Brad Ausmus went to his bullpen again, summoning right-hander Al Alburquerque to face Kemp, who grounded out to end it.

Without the use of the designated hitter, Ausmus has had to get creative with his lineup the last two nights in the National League ballpark. Third baseman Nick Castellanos didn't play Tuesday, but he made the most of his chance Wednesday.

His three-run home run off Dodgers right-hander Josh Beckett turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead in the third inning.

Sanchez gave up three runs (one earned) on six hits and one walk and was in line to get the victory before the Dodgers rallied in the ninth. Sanchez, though, had to work hard for every out, and he was finished after five innings and 110 pitches.

Beckett was making his first major league start since May 13 of last year, having dealt with a variety of injuries. He looked good in spurts -- he struck out three consecutive hitters at one point -- but was undone by Castellanos' homer.

Beckett allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits and one walk in four innings.

Martinez finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs, while Gordon and Uribe each had three hits for the Dodgers.

NOTES: Tigers RHP Joe Nathan said he is going through a "dead arm" phase. Nathan is 1-for-3 in save opportunities and has a 12.27 ERA. ... Tigers RF Torii Hunter, who bruised his left knee when crashing into the short wall in foul territory chasing a fly ball Tuesday, did not play Wednesday. He is expected to be back in the lineup Friday when the Tigers play the Padres. OF Tyler Collins started in Hunter's place and went 2-for-5, collecting his first major league hits.
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