May 10, 2012
CL Game 36

Tigers (Sposato Homes)   10

Diamondbacks (Cocco's Pizza)   6



On a cold, windy evening, the Tigers bounced back from a tough loss by outslugging the Diamondbacks, 10-6.

Two nights after suffering their first defeat of the season, the first-place Tigers pounded out 21 hits, including four doubles and a triple, and made eight putouts en route to holding off a D'backs squad that racked up 19 hits and four putouts of its own.

For the victors: At the plate, Brendan Hefferan (3 for 4, double, two runs scored, RBI) and Nate Holst-Rightley (3 for 4, double, triple, two runs scored, two RBI) had box-score-bustin' days, while the Media Maseratis, Declan Hefferan (three runs scored) and Sean O'Shea (double, run scored), each went 3 for 3. Defensively, Nate Hall, Jaden Jauregui, Declan Hefferan and the always sure-handed O'Shea stood out, with the latter two making huge putouts to end D'backs rallies in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

For the Diamondbacks: Game balls went to Dylan LeBuhn, who stroked two hits, including a two-run single that cut the D'backs' deficit to 6-4 in the fifth inning, and Josh Rodgers, who went 3 for 3 with an RBI and made a key defensive play at third base in the first inning.

Also starring for the Diamondbacks: Lizzy Gibian went 3 for 3 with a run scored; Sam Davenport went 3 for 3 with an RBI; Kelton Brunner, Nick Corritore and Joey Cornacchia each notched a pair of hits and a run scored; Luke Mersch tallied a single, a run scored and a hard-hit, RBI fielder's choice; Blayke Reid picked up a single, scored a run and was robbed of two other hits; and Nico Villalobos, who hit the ball hard all three times he was up, added an RBI fielder's choice. Meanwhile, in addition to Rodgers, Cornacchia, Mersch, Brunner, Gibian, Corritore, Davenport and Villalobos all made strong plays in the field.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Brendan Hefferan smacked a leadoff double and Nate Holst-Rightley knocked him in with a one-out double of his own. But Rodgers prevented a big inning when he fielded Connor McCarney's grounder at the hot corner and tagged Holst-Rightley before he could get to third.

In the bottom of the first, Cornacchia and LeBuhn singled, but the game remained scoreless.

The Tigers doubled their advantage in the top of the second when Ryan Anderson plated Declan Hefferan with a two-out, bases loaded single.

But the D'backs came right back with a run of their own when Reid, Gibian, Davenport and Rodgers hit four consecutive singles to start the home half of the second. The Tigers limited the damage with a couple of clutch defensive plays, including an unassisted putout at first that took an RBI hit away from Villalobos and ended the frame.

The Tigers came out hitting again in the third, but, once again, were held to just a run by the Diamondbacks' defense. After Brendan Hefferan led off with a single, Nate Holst-Rightley hit a one-out bullet to third base that was snared on a hop by Cornacchia. Although Hefferan beat Cornacchia's throw to Corritore at second, the third baseman's glovework prevented extra bases for Holst-Rightley and set up a key out on the next play. For the second time in as many at-bats, McCarney was robbed of a hit, this time when Mersch snagged the ball by the pitcher's mound and fired it to Cornacchia for a force-out at third. But Ben Holst-Rightley made sure the Tigers wouldn't come up empty by scoring his brother with a two-out single.

In the bottom of the third, Brunner and Corritore hit back-to-back, one-out singles, but the Tigers escaped unscathed.

The Tigers widened their lead to 4-1 in the top of the fourth. After Declan Hefferan led off with a single and O'Shea crushed a double to move him to third, Hall plated Hefferan with a base hit. Then, with runners on the corners and nobody out, Brunner caught a pop fly by the mound and the D'backs got out of the inning without giving up any more runs.

Mersch led off the bottom of the fourth with a single and advanced to second when Reid was robbed of a hit by the Tigers' pitcher. After Gibian singled to put runners at first and third with one out, Davenport picked up his first RBI of the season when he plated Mersch with a base hit. Then, Rodgers added a single of his own to load the bases. With two outs, as he did in his first at-bat, Villalobos hit a hard grounder to the right side, but Declan Hefferan calmly corralled the ball and made an unassisted putout at second to keep the Tigers' lead at 4-2.

In the top of the fifth, Brendan Hefferan and the brothers Holst-Rightley came up big again for the Tigers. After Hefferan singled to open the inning, Nate Holst-Rightley launched a one-out triple to score him. Then, for the second time in the game, Ben Holst-Rightley plated his brother with a two-out hit, this time leaving no doubt by slamming a double to stretch the Tigers' lead to 6-2.

Nonetheless, the D'backs wouldn't go down without a fight. In the bottom of the fifth, after Brunner connected for a one-out single, Corritore roped a line drive hit into center, and Cornacchia singled to load the bases. That set the stage for LeBuhn, who rolled a single down the first-base line to score Brunner and Corritore and move Cornacchia to third. With runners at the corners and one out, Mersch drilled a shot to the right side that had all the makings of an extra-base hit, but the Tigers' second baseman made an exceptional stop and beat LeBuhn to second. Still, Cornacchia scored on the play to bring the D'backs within a run at 6-5. Then, for the second time in as many innings, Reid fell prey to a standout play by a Tigers pitcher. This time, O'Shea was the hit thief, as he fielded the ball by the mound and hurled a strike to first to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, the Tigers opened things up, scoring four runs on six hits and a fielder's choice. After, the visitors' first six hitters - Declan Hefferan, O'Shea, Hall, Chase Nangle, Anderson and Andrew Kirkpatrick - of the inning got base hits to push the Tigers' advantage to 9-5, Brendan Hefferan finished off his banner day with an RBI fielder's choice. On the play, Gibian, playing second base, took a hit away from Hefferan by fielding the ball cleanly and tagging out Kirkpatrick, who was headed for second.

In the home half of the sixth, Gibian, Davenport and Rodgers hit back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases with nobody out. After the next batter was retired, once again, Villalobos came up in a big spot, and, once again, he hit the ball hard. This time, Villalobos pulled the ball to the left side to score Gibian, but the Tigers' third baseman came up with a huge out when he scooped up the ball and beat Davenport to the bag. The Tigers got out of the jam without giving up any more runs.

In addition to their 19 hits (which matched a season high set against the Rays on April 20), the D'backs put the ball in play seven more times, meaning they hit the ball in fair territory a season-high 26 times (one more than their previous standard set against the Angels on May 2).