PHOENIX (DETROIT FREE PRESS) Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus opted to try and break the game open in the eighth inning, after Torii Hunter had delivered a one-out two-run single to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead over the Diamondbacks.
Alex Avila struck out swinging and after Eury De La Rosa intentionally walked Eugenio Suarez with Rick Porcello due up, Ausmus brought in Rajai Davis to pinch hit. Davis was called out on strikes.
Instead of having Porcello, who got through seven innings by throwing 77 pitches, the Tigers ended up with an inefficient bullpen that allowed three walks in the bottom of the eighth inning before Miguel Montero delivered a two-out, two-run single to put the Diamondbacks ahead for good.
The Diamondbacks went on to beat the Tigers, 5-4, on Tuesday night at Chase Field.
"You got bases loaded and one out, you hope to push a run across," Ausmus said. "We had an opportunity to blow the game open, but it didn't happen."
Ausmus said Joba Chamberlain needed a day off and was unavailable for the eighth inning.
Phil Coke started the eighth inning and gave up back-to-back one-out walks to Ender Inciarte and David Peralta. Al Alburquerque came in to face Aaron Hill, who had driven in each of the Diamondbacks' first three runs. Alburquerque got Hill to fly out to left, but then gave up a walk to Paul Goldschmidt to load the bases.
"Three walks in that inning killed us," Ausmus said. "It's just one of those things. It shouldn't happen, but occasionally it does happen. It happened tonight. It hurt us."
Ausmus brought in lefty Ian Krol to pitch to Montero, a left-handed hitter. Krol got ahead 0-2 in the count before Montero delivered a two-out, two-run single to center to erase the Tigers' lead.
"He got the hit, that's all that matters, that stings enough, it doesn't matter what the count was," Ausmus said of Montero's hit.
Tigers catcher Alex Avila said the pitch Montero hit was supposed to be a "waste pitch and just missed his spot completely.
"Just made a poor pitch, but when you walk three guys in an inning, normally you're not going to come out of it unscathed," Avila said.
Porcello had limited the Diamondbacks to five hits, and three earned runs over seven innings with no walks and five strikeouts.
He was extremely efficient except when dealing with the Diamondbacks' first two hitters. Peralta hit a pair of triples and a walk and scored three runs. Hill hit a home run and drove all of the runs allowed by Porcello.
The Diamondbacks broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning. Peralta hit his second triple of the game and came home to score when Hill grounded out to shortstop.
The Tigers led off the eighth with back-to-back singles by Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera off right-hander Brad Ziegler. With runners on the corners, Victor Martinez hit into a fielder's choice and Kinsler was eventually caught in a rundown trying to score.
J.D. Martinez, who was 0-for-3, nailed Ziegler with a comebacker, loading the bases. That brought up the hot-hitting Hunter, who had hit a two-run home run in Monday's 4-3 win.
He delivered the two-run single to give the Tigers the lead in the top of the eight and is now hitting .500 (4-for-8) with 11 RBIs this season with the bases loaded. He is also batting .363 (24-for-66) with 21 RBIs in July.