The pattern is becoming all-too familiar.
Drop behind and then come-from-behind.
The Diamondbacks exercised this reality through their recent sweep of the Chicago Cubs. Now, they tried to obtain the same results against the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander Monday night, who took a no-hitter into the fourth inning.
Down 3-0 early, the rallied to tie at 3-3 but Miguel Cabrera’s run-producing single against reliever Randall Delgado in the seventh lifted the Tigers to a 4-3 victory over the Diamondbacks before 25,907 in Chase Field.
The loss snapped the D-backs three game wining streak and prevented another notable come-from-behind win.
While there was thought among the Diamondbacks to walk Cabrera and get to Victor Martinez, the end result was a mistake to a very good hitter,
“It was a change and I left it up,” said Delgado, who described the pitch to Cabrera. “Instead of walking (Cabrera), we wanted to pitch around him but I made a mistake. You can’t do that to maybe the best hitter in the game.”
For his part, manager Kirk Gibson said some thought was given to walking Cabrera and setting up a possible double play. On the season, Martinez has hit into 11 double plays, third highest on the Tigers.
“We could have pitched around (Cabrera) and go for the double play,” Gibson said. “It was just a bad pitch from Delgado.”
In the end, the Tigers’ relievers of Al Albuquerque, Joba Chamberlain and closer Joe Nathan (his 20th save of the season) shut the door over the final three innings and prevented another Arizona comeback.
Starter Vidal Nuno put the Diamondbacks in a nasty hole early. That’s when he gave up a two-run homer to Torii Hunter in the second and solo shot to Austin Jackson leading off the third.
“I left a few balls up and that’s a tough lineup,” Nuno said. “When you leave it up to a team like that, they hurt you. The home run Jackson hit was a cutter inside and a bad pitch. This is all about making pitches and that wasn’t the case today.”
Though Nuno lasted only into the fifth inning, Delgado picked up from the Diamondbacks’ starter and eventually gave up the winning run in the seventh. In that frame, Jackson led off with a double to right-center and Cabrera following with a drive to center field. The ball hit under just a yellow line which divides a ball in play from a home run.
Center fielder David Peralta recovered the ball and his throw to second nailed Cabrera but the two-time American League MVP inflicted the damage.
In between, the D-backs reached Verlander for a two in the fourth and Gerardo Parra’s sixth home run of the season knotted things at 3-3.
Then, Cabrera’s game-winner off of loser Delgado and the eventual margin of difference.
The Diamondbacks had an opportunity in the seventh to even things. With two outs and runners on first-and-third, Paul Goldschmidt grounded into a force to end the threat.
From there, the Diamondbacks managed one base runner, a two-out pinch single from Cody Ross, in the ninth. Nathan then managed to get Peralta on a grounder to first to end the game.
GAME NOTES …
Verlander raised his season mark to 9-8 and now sports a 24-2 lifetime record against National League teams. That includes a perfect 6-0 against NL West teams and 2-0 (1.84 ERA) against the Diamondbacks … The Tigers continue to be a strong road team. They are 12-3 in their last 15 road contests and improved to 29-16 in games away from Comerica Park. … The loss for Delgado was his first since losing to the Rockies on May 4. … second baseman Aaron Hill extended his hitting streak to seven games while Miguel Montero's consecutive games of reaching base ended at 17.