SAN DIEGO - MIkie Mahtook hit a two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth to break a 5-5 tie.
The Tigers went on to beat the Padres, 7-5, today at Petco Park and snap an eight-game losing streak.
Ian Kinsler led off the top of the ninth with a double to left off right-hander Brandon Maurer. Miguel Cabrera popped out to finish 1-for-5 on the day and 4-for-28 (.143) on the West Coast road trip. Justin Upton, already with two doubles in the game, drew a walk. The runners advanced to second and third when J.D. Martinez on a tapper fielded by the catcher.
Mahtook got ahead in the count, 3-0, and laced a ground ball through the right side on a full count.
Manager Brad Ausmus had tweaked the lineup in a desperate attempt to chance the Tigers’ fortunes.
Ausmus joked the other day at Petco Park that he has heated seats, in reference to being on the hot seat this season and over the past few seasons during his managerial tenure.
The Tigers finished 1-6 on the road trip. When the starting pitching was good, the bats went quiet or the bullpen blew up.
After three consecutive good outings, right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was hit hard by one of the worst hitting clubs in baseball. He allowed five runs on six hits over four innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Of the six hits allowed, four were extra-base hits.
Lefty Clayton Richard (Michigan) allowed five runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings for the Padres. Richard walked two and struck out three.
Richard gave up a game-tying, two-run home run to Nick Castellanos in the sixth.
The Tigers scored three runs in the fourth to tie the game, 3-3, but the Padres regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Richard’s sacrifice bunt scored ex-Tiger Erick Aybar. Jose Pirela added a two-out RBI ground-rule double.
Zimmermann allowed solo home runs to Wil Myers in the first and Aybar in the second. Hunter Renfroe followed Aybar’s blast with a single and scored on a triple by Szczur.
Upton, batting third in the tweaked lineup, hit a ground-rule double down the leftfield line for his second double of the game in the fourth and scored on a one-out triple by Mahtook. James McCann hit a two-out RBI double that deflected off the glove of third baseman Cory Spangenberg. Jose Iglesias snapped a 0-for-22 slump with an RBI single to tie the game.
The Tigers had runners on first and second with one out in the seventh, thanks to singles by Cabrera and Martinez. But Padres righty Phil Maton got Mahtook and Castellanos to strike out swinging.
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