DETROIT (AP) Spencer Torkelson sparked a three-run, ninth-inning rally against Raisel Iglesias with a two-run homer and hit a game-ending single in the 10th, lifting Detroit over the Atlanta Braves 6-5 on Monday night to stop the Tigers' nine-game losing streak.
“This is huge, because the last 10 days haven't been much fun,” Torkelson said. “We've felt in all 10 of these games that we were never out of it. Tonight, the pitching staff did a great job and there were a couple of defensive plays that kept us in it. We just kept chipping away.”
Andy Ibañez began the comeback from a 4-0 deficit with a seventh-inning homer and threw out Sam Hilliard at the plate from left field in the 10th as Detroit improved to 7-3 in extra-inning games this year.
Atlanta's Marcel Ozuna was hit on the right wrist by a pitch from Garrett Hill in the fourth and left the game one inning later with what the Braves said was a bruise. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Ozuna was undergoing tests at a hospital.
Atlanta led 5-2 when Jonathan Schoop singled off Iglesias (2-3) leading off the ninth, and Torkelson drove a sinker 440 feet to left-center for his sixth homer.
“He caught me by surprise with his changeup on the first pitch, so I kind of dumbed down my approach,” Torkelson said. “I guess that's what happens when you don't try to do too much.”
Kerry Carpenter singled, Javier Báez struck out and Nick Maton bounced into a forceout at second, speeding down the first-base line to avoid a game-ending double play.
“To win a game like that, you need everyone to do something positive,” Hinch said. “Nick made a big play by getting down the line to keep the play alive.”
Matt Vierling, activated from the injured list after recovering from a sore back, singled and Zach Short tied the score when he singled to left on a changeup with a 1-2 count. Iglesias struck out Ibañez, sending the game to extra innings.
“I feel like the command and the pitchers were there,” Iglesias said. “They came out aggressive, looking to make contact, because I'm a pitcher who throws a lot of strikes. I think that's all there is to it.”
Ibañez came up with the big throw when Eddie Rosario hit a 238-foot flyout off Alex Lange (4-2). Hilliard tried to get his right arm around catcher Jake Rogers' left leg on a headfirst slide but was called out by plate umpire Jordan Baker, a decision that ended the inning and was upheld in a video review.
“The one thing about playing an infielder in the outfield is you know they will have a great release,” Hinch said. “That was as quick a transfer as you're going to see. He looked out a lot more out the first time than he did on the big screen, but it was a really impactful play.”
With Ibañez on second as the automatic runner, Rogers popped up a bunt against former Tiger Joe Jiménez (0-2) that Austin Riley tried to scoop but hit the tip of the third baseman's glove and bounced under for what was scored a sacrifice and an error.
With the infield and outfield in, Schoop lined to Jiménez, and Torkelson hit a 351-foot fly that fell behind the outfield for a winning single.
“Obviously, I know Joe is a great pitcher with a great fastball,” Torkelson said. “I just wanted anything I could get in the air because I know Andy can run.”
Atlanta lost for the first time in four extra-inning games this year.
“It stings, but no more than any other game where you lose a lead,” Snitker said. “It's one game and it is part of the life of a closer.”
Braves starter Charlie Morton allowed four hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and three walks.
Atlanta built a four-run lead on Ozzie Albies’ second-inning sacrifice fly, Ronald Acuña Jr.'s two-run double against Garrett Hill in the fifth and Acuña's bloop to short right in the sixth that was turned into a forceout at second as Albies scored.
Ibañez homered off Collin McHugh, but Michael Harris II homered in the eighth off Tyler Alexander for a 5-1 lead. Short had an RBI single in the bottom half.
Rookie RHP Reese Olson (0-1, 2.70) starts Tuesday night for Detroit and ace RHP Spencer Strider (6-2, 3.79) for the Braves. Rain is forecast for much of the day.
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