Detroit at Los Angeles

Martinez's blast in 10th boosts Tigers after Dodgers' rally wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- Victor Martinez helped the Detroit Tigers overcome the struggles of Joe Nathan.

The Detroit Tigers' closer blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning Wednesday night against the Dodgers.

But Martinez picked him up in a big way with a leadoff home run in the 10th against Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen, and Detroit pulled out a 7-6 victory in which both pitching staffs made a combined 382 pitches during the 4-hour, 16-minute marathon.

"Kenley Jansen is filthy, but Victor Martinez is a professional hitter," Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said. "He's at the plate, just trying to figure you out, and I think he figured out how Jansen's ball moves.

"He was able to get inside of it and hit it out of the ballpark and come up with another clutch hit. That's what this team is capable of doing. We have some veteran guys who have good at-bats and can get the job done."

Martinez drove a 2-2 pitch deep into the pavilion seats in right-center to make a winner of Nathan (2-0).

One night earlier, Martinez tied the score with a two-out single in the ninth against Jansen before the Dodgers pulled out a 3-2 victory in 10.

"Vic takes hitting very seriously, and I think his main focus is to just try to get the barrel of the bat to the ball," manager Brad Ausmus said. "If you watch him on a regular basis, he's fighting to do that. And if a pitcher is trying to get him out, Victor is going to make it very difficult for him -- especially with men on base."

Joba Chamberlain gave up a single to Hanley Ramirez to open the 10th. But left-hander Ian Krol struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, and Al Albuquerque retired Matt Kemp on a grounder to get his first major league save.

Nathan, who said during a radio interview earlier in the day that he was experiencing a "dead arm" -- and reiterated those thoughts in the clubhouse before batting practice, was trying to protect a 6-3 lead for Anabel Sanchez.

But Gonzalez led off with a home run to center field, and the Dodgers loaded the bases with walks to Ethier and Kemp and a single by Juan Uribe.

Yasiel Puig, who wasn't in the starting lineup for the third consecutive game because of a strained ligament in his left thumb, batted for Tim Federowicz and struck out. Pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke got a run home with a fielder's choice grounder before Dee Gordon singled to right field, delivering Kemp with the tying run.

"Joe's stuff looked as crisp as we've see it, and he said he felt like that was the best stuff he's had, in terms of the break on his slider and the way the fastball came out of his hand," Ausmus said. "So maybe once he got out there, his arm played a little better than he mentioned earlier."

Detroit's Nick Castellanos helped spoil Josh Beckett's long-awaited return with a three-run homer, his first in the big leagues.

Sanchez allowed three runs -- one earned -- and six hits over five innings and struck out six.

Beckett threw 85 pitches through four innings, giving up five runs -- four earned -- and five hits while striking out five. The three-time All-Star, who joined the Dodgers in a nine-player megadeal with Boston in August 2012, made only 15 starts with them before this one because of injuries that had sidelined him since his previous outing on May 13 of last season.

Beckett gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the second, laying down a suicide-squeeze bunt in front of the plate with Uribe charging down the line. It was Beckett's first RBI since June 14, 2009, when he hit a home run against J.A. Happ in an interleague game at Philadelphia.

But the Tigers pulled ahead 5-3 in the third when Castellanos drove a pitch to center field, and the ball skimmed off the top of the eight-foot fence before landing on the other side.

"It was just rust," Beckett said. "After the first inning it was just a baseball game. I felt good in that fourth inning."

Hunter did not play because of a bruised left knee, which occurred Tuesday when he tried to make a sliding catch of a foul ball by Federowicz near the short padded wall in front of the grandstand.

"I came here early today, trying to get it loosened up, and it's still swollen," Hunter said. "I can't really do too much about it. But it's only been a little over 24 hours, so what we're going to do is just take it one day at a time. My plan is to come back Friday, but if it's still a little sore, we want to get rid of it early in the season so I'll be able to perform for my ballclub."


One of A.J. Ellis' biggest regrets about going on the disabled list Tuesday was missing this series against the Tigers and Ausmus, his teammate during Ausmus' final two major league seasons (2009-10). "I was fortunate to catch in the major leagues before I met Brad, but I wasn't a major league catcher until after I met Brad," Ellis said a day after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. "The two-year mentorship he gave me was what turned me into the catcher I am today. He taught me how to prepare a game plan, how to take care of my body in between starts, how to be a better teammate, and how my focus should be on my pitching staff only."

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Victor Martinez follows the flight of his home run in the 10th inning, which puts Detroit ahead for good.  (USATSI)
Victor Martinez follows the flight of his home run in the 10th inning, which puts Detroit ahead for good. (USATSI)

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Detroit Tigers
Rajai Davis, LF4010001 .294
Ian Kinsler, 2B5220012 .313
Miguel Cabrera, 1B-3B4010111 .286
Victor Martinez, C-1B3232100 .321
Austin Jackson, CF4121012 .357
Nick Castellanos, 3B4113122 .353
   Alex Avila, C0000000 .125
Tyler Collins, RF5020011 .154
Alex Gonzalez, SS5100013 .250
Anibal Sanchez, P2011010 .500
   a-Bryan Holaday, PH1000010 .000
   Drew Smyly, P1000010 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
   b-Don Kelly, PH1000012 .429
   Joba Chamberlain, P0000000 .000
   Ian Krol, P0000000 .000
   Al Alburquerque, P0000000 .000
a-struck out for Sanchez in the 6th
b-struck out for Nathan in the 10th
2B - Austin Jackson (3, Beckett), Anibal Sanchez (1, Beckett)
HR - Victor Martinez (2, Jansen), Nick Castellanos (1, Beckett)
SF - Victor Martinez (1), Austin Jackson (1)
RBI - Victor Martinez 2 (4), Austin Jackson (2), Nick Castellanos 3 (4), Anibal Sanchez (1)
2-OUT RBI - Nick Castellanos 3 (3), Anibal Sanchez (1)
SB - Rajai Davis (3, 2nd base off Beckett/Federowicz), Ian Kinsler 2 (2, 2nd base off Beckett/Federowicz, 2nd base off Beckett/Federowicz)
CS - Rajai Davis (1, 2nd base by League/Federowicz)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Castellanos-Kinsler-Cabrera
E - Victor Martinez (1, Throwing)
PB - Victor Martinez (1)
Detroit Tigers
Anibal Sanchez 5631160 3.00
Drew Smyly (H,1) 3100030 0.00
Joe Nathan (W,2-0; BS,2) 1333211 12.27
Joba Chamberlain 0100000 13.50
Ian Krol (H,1) 0.2000020 0.00
Al Alburquerque (S,1) 0.1000000 5.40
WP - Anibal Sanchez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Anibal Sanchez 110-68, Drew Smyly 47-34, Joe Nathan 24-15, Joba Chamberlain 2-2, Ian Krol 8-6, Al Alburquerque 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anibal Sanchez 5-3, Drew Smyly 4-1, Joe Nathan 1-1, Al Alburquerque 1-0
Batters Faced - Anibal Sanchez 21, Drew Smyly 9, Joe Nathan 8, Joba Chamberlain 1, Ian Krol 2, Al Alburquerque 1
Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
Dee Gordon, 2B5031000 .394
Carl Crawford, LF5120013 .313
   Kenley Jansen, P0000000 .000
   J.P. Howell, P0000000 .000
Hanley Ramirez, SS4110111 .263
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B5111021 .189
Andre Ethier, RF4111121 .242
Matt Kemp, CF4100132 .167
Juan Uribe, 3B4130000 .375
Tim Federowicz, C3000022 .143
   a-Yasiel Puig, PH1000013 .240
   Drew Butera, C0000000 .000
Josh Beckett, P0001000 .000
   Brandon League, P1000000 .000
   Jamey Wright, P0000000 .000
   b-Justin Turner, PH1000001 .200
   Paco Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
   Paul Maholm, P0000000 .000
   c-Scott Van Slyke, PH-LF1001000 .375
a-struck out for Federowicz in the 9th
b-grounded into a double play for Wright in the 7th
c-hit into fielder's choice for Maholm in the 9th
2B - Carl Crawford 2 (4, Sanchez)
HR - Adrian Gonzalez (2, Nathan)
SH - Josh Beckett (1)
RBI - Dee Gordon (5), Adrian Gonzalez (4), Andre Ethier (8), Josh Beckett (1), Scott Van Slyke (3)
2-OUT RBI - Dee Gordon (3), Andre Ethier (4)
SB - Dee Gordon (4, 2nd base off Sanchez/Martinez), Carl Crawford (4, 2nd base off Sanchez/Martinez), Hanley Ramirez (2, 3rd base off Sanchez/Martinez)
CS - Dee Gordon (1, 2nd base by Sanchez/Martinez)
Team LOB - 6
DP - H. Ramirez-Gordon-Gonzalez, H. Ramirez-Gordon-Gonzalez-Uribe-Gordon-Gonzalez, H. Ramirez-Gordon-Gonzalez-Uribe-Gordon-Gonzalez-H. Ramirez-Gordon-Gonzalez
E - Tim Federowicz (1, Throwing), Hanley Ramirez (2, Throwing), Dee Gordon (2, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
Josh Beckett 4554151 9.00
Brandon League 2200110 0.00
Jamey Wright 1110120 2.45
Paco Rodriguez 1100010 1.93
Paul Maholm 1100000 7.94
Kenley Jansen (L,0-1) 0.2311011 4.76
J.P. Howell 0.1000010 0.00
IBB - Martinez by Jamey Wright
WP - Jamey Wright (1)
HBP - Davis (by Josh Beckett)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 85-55, Brandon League 24-13, Jamey Wright 21-15, Paco Rodriguez 18-11, Paul Maholm 15-9, Kenley Jansen 19-15, J.P. Howell 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 5-3, Brandon League 3-1, Paco Rodriguez 1-0, Paul Maholm 2-0
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 20, Brandon League 8, Jamey Wright 5, Paco Rodriguez 3, Paul Maholm 3, Kenley Jansen 5, J.P. Howell 1
Game Information
Attendance - 42687
Game Time - 4:16
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Chris Guccione, Second Base - Pat Hoberg, Third Base - Tom Hallion