Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson didn’t have his best stuff, but it was enough to stop the red-hot Tigers.
Jackson (4-6) gave up four runs, three earned, in 7 2/3 innings of work, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks hold off a late rally by the Tigers in a 6-5 victory. Jackson, traded by the Tigers in the off season to Arizona, threw 107 pitches and struck out four batters.
Rick Porcello (4-7) looked better, but still didn’t have the touch, lasting 5 1/3 innings in picking up the loss. He gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and struck out four in his first start after skipping a turn in the rotation.
Detroit squandered an opportunity in the first inning, loading the bases with no one out and already leading 1-0 on a Magglio Ordonez RBI single that scored Don Kelly. But Brennan Boesch struck out, and Carlos Guillen grounded into a double play, getting Jackson out of an early jam.
The lead didn’t last long. After Chris Young reached base on a fielding error by Boesch, Mark Reynolds hit a two-run shot in the top of the second to give the D-Backs the lead.
Detroit tied it up in the bottom half of the inning, as Alex Avila singled home Brandon Inge.
Porcello shook off the Reynolds homer, but ran into trouble in the sixth inning, when the D-Backs made their move. Miguel Montero led off with a solo home run to break the tie, then Porcello surrendered a hit and a walk after getting a fly ball out. Fu Te Ni came into relieve Porcello, and promptly gave up a two-run triple to Gerardo Parra, his first and only batter.
Detroit chipped away, cutting the lead to 6-4 by the ninth inning. Boesch atoned for his error in the second inning, gunning down Kelly Johnson at the plate to keep the Tigers within two runs to end the top half of the frame.
The Tigers nearly completely the comeback in the bottom of the inning. Ordonez hit a two-out double that scored Don Kelly from first base to cut the lead to 6-5, but Miguel Cabrera struck out to end the threat.
The Tigers finished the night with a terrible performance with runners in scoring position. Detroit stranded 14 base runners in scoring position, finishing 3-for-17 on the night. Kelly, Guillen, Cabrera and Johnny Damon were a combined 0-for-8 with RISP, though they each had decent nights hit-wise at the plate, save for Guillen who was 0-for-4.
A bright spot in the Tigers pitching debacle was Enrique Gonzalez. Gonzalez relieved Ni in the sixth and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out two, although he did issue three walks.
The Tigers wrap up the series with Arizona tomorrow with a 1:05 matinee.