Arizona at Detroit

W: E. Vasquez (1-1) L: D. Purcey (1-1)
S: J. Putz (21)
HR: ARI - W. Pena (2)   DET - C. Wells (4)

Pena's towering shot helps D-Backs tame Tigers wire reports

DETROIT --Wily Mo Pena's latest home run was a long one.

Almost as long as his road back to the major leagues.

Pena hit a towering solo shot in the eighth inning, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Detroit Tigers 7-6 on Friday night. It was Pena's second homer in 15 at-bats since being called up from the minors earlier this week. This hit went an estimated 454 feet over the left-field fence - the third-longest homer at Comerica Park since it opened in 2000.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew that ball was out," Pena said.

Pena played for Cincinnati, Boston and Washington from 2002-08, but he'd been out of the majors since his 2008 season ended with a torn labrum.

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Pena was hitting .363 with 21 homers for Reno of the Pacific Coast League when the Diamondbacks brought him up this week. They've been able to use him as a designated hitter in American League ballparks during interleague play.

"I worked hard the past season to come back here," Pena said. "I just have to be patient. They're not throwing me that many good pitches."

Pena's two-out homer off David Purcey (1-1) broke a 6-all tie and landed in the final rows of seats under the big scoreboard at Comerica. It was the longest homer by a visiting player at the ballpark.

"He hit one in Reno before I got there that supposedly went about 500 feet," Arizona reliever Bryan Shaw said. "He's hit some balls far."

Esmerling Vasquez (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for Arizona. David Hernandez worked the eighth, and J.J. Putz finished for his 21st save.

Arizona trailed 4-0 after three innings but rallied to tie it at 6 before Pena connected. Purcey hadn't allowed a run in his first eight appearances since Oakland traded him to the Tigers in late May.

"Looks like he hung a slider to him and he crushed it," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "But that really wasn't the game. We didn't shut them down. We had a chance to put them away and didn't do it."

Neither starting pitcher had his best stuff. Detroit's Phil Coke went 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs -- five earned -- and seven hits. Fellow left-hander Zach Duke pitched four innings for the Diamondbacks, giving up six runs and seven hits.

Jhonny Peralta helped Detroit get off to a fast start, hitting a two-run double off the left-field fence in the first inning, missing a grand slam by only a few feet. Casper Wells and Magglio Ordonez started the bottom of the third with back-to-back doubles, and Victor Martinez drove in another run with a single.

The Diamondbacks immediately answered against Coke. After Kelly Johnson walked to lead off the fourth, Detroit second baseman Ryan Raburn misplayed Justin Upton's groundball for an error. After Chris Young's single loaded the bases, Stephen Drew hit a sacrifice fly.

Xavier Nady and Pena followed with back-to-back RBI singles to make it 4-3.

The Tigers added two runs in the bottom half when Austin Jackson hit a two-out triple and Wells followed with his fourth homer.

Then it was Arizona's turn to rally with two out. Upton singled, Young walked and Drew was called safe on a close play after first baseman Miguel Cabrera made a nice stop on his grounder and flipped the ball to Coke covering first.

Nady hit a two-run single, knocking Coke out of the game with the score 6-5. Ryan Perry came on for his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Toledo. He threw a wild pitch to allow the tying run to score but went on to strike out Pena to end the threat.

Shaw pitched the fifth and sixth for Arizona, holding the Tigers to two hits and striking out two.

Upton kept the game tied when he ran down Wells' sixth-inning line drive and caught it on the warning track before slamming into the right-field wall. Brandon Inge would have scored easily from second had the ball eluded Upton.

"Obviously, it was a phenomenal catch," Shaw said. "That run scores if he doesn't make that play."


  • Arizona had a chance to add to its lead with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, but Young bunted too hard back to the mound and the Tigers were able to turn a home-to-first double play.
  • Detroit C Alex Avila was shaken up but stayed in the game after Perry's wild pitch in the fifth appeared to bounce up and hit his left arm.
  • Inge was playing his first game since going on the disabled list with mononucleosis.
  • Detroit manager Jim Leyland says he thinks LHP Charlie Furbush could be a starter at some point in his career. Furbush has thrown 19 innings in 10 relief appearances this season. "He's in the catbird seat," Leyland said. "It looks to me like he can do either one, and for a lefty, that's pretty good."
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Wily Mo Pena swings through a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning against the Tigers.  (Getty Images)
Wily Mo Pena swings through a tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning against the Tigers. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

X. Nady
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

C. Wells
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

February 17, 2017
NL West Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (2:12)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Ryan Roberts, 3B4000101 .253
Kelly Johnson, 2B3100100 .210
Justin Upton, RF3220200 .304
Chris Young, CF4210112 .252
Stephen Drew, SS3111010 .278
Xavier Nady, 1B4023000 .267
Wily Mo Pena, DH4122021 .267
Henry Blanco, C4000002 .212
Willie Bloomquist, LF4020002 .260
    Gerardo Parra, LF0000000 .271
HR - Wily Mo Pena (2, Purcey)
SF - Stephen Drew (1)
SH - Kelly Johnson (4)
RBI - Stephen Drew (41), Xavier Nady 3 (25), Wily Mo Pena 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Xavier Nady 2 (9), Wily Mo Pena (2)
SB - Justin Upton (14, 2nd base off Coke/Avila)
CS - Justin Upton (6, 2nd base by Perry/Avila)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Roberts-Johnson-Nady, Roberts-Johnson-Nady
Arizona Diamondbacks
Zach Duke 4766331 5.73
Bryan Shaw 2200020 4.50
Esmerling Vasquez (W,1-1) 1100000 4.45
David Hernandez (H,11) 1000020 2.50
J.J. Putz (S,21) 1000100 2.45
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 83-47, Bryan Shaw 33-22, Esmerling Vasquez 12-7, David Hernandez 15-11, J.J. Putz 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 4-4, Bryan Shaw 1-3, Esmerling Vasquez 1-1, J.J. Putz 1-2
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 21, Bryan Shaw 8, Esmerling Vasquez 3, David Hernandez 3, J.J. Putz 4
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF4110121 .248
Casper Wells, LF4222001 .264
   a- Brennan Boesch, PH1000001 .299
Magglio Ordonez, RF4221101 .187
Miguel Cabrera, 1B3110111 .323
Victor Martinez, DH3011100 .332
Jhonny Peralta, SS4022011 .302
Alex Avila, C4000024 .295
Brandon Inge, 3B4010010 .212
Ryan Raburn, 2B3000000 .201
   b- Don Kelly, PH1000000 .262
a-hit into fielder's choice for Wells in the 9th
b-popped out for Raburn in the 9th
2B - Casper Wells (7, Duke), Magglio Ordonez (4, Duke), Jhonny Peralta (13, Duke)
3B - Austin Jackson (6, Duke)
HR - Casper Wells (4, Duke)
RBI - Casper Wells 2 (12), Magglio Ordonez (8), Victor Martinez (42), Jhonny Peralta 2 (42)
2-OUT RBI - Casper Wells 2 (6), Jhonny Peralta 2 (14)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Cabrera-Raburn, Benoit-Avila-Cabrera
E - Ryan Raburn (7, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
Phil Coke 4.2765210 4.32
Ryan Perry 2.1100120 9.95
David Purcey (L,1-1) 1.1211211 2.45
Joaquin Benoit 0.2000000 4.76
IBB - Upton by David Purcey
WP - Ryan Perry (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Phil Coke 73-47, Ryan Perry 31-20, David Purcey 32-15, Joaquin Benoit 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Phil Coke 5-9, David Purcey 2-1, Joaquin Benoit 1-0
Batters Faced - Phil Coke 24, Ryan Perry 7, David Purcey 8, Joaquin Benoit 1
Game Information
Attendance - 37335
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Mike Muchlinski, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Mark Carlson