May 21: Tigers (27-15) 10, Indians (22-25) 11 — F/13
In a game where the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians were scoring at will and no one had a firm grasp on the lead at any point, the extra-inning affair oddly concluded on an Al Alburquerque balk in the 13th. David Murphy knocked in four for the Tribe.
The 21-run slugfest began right out the gate as the Tigers put up four runs in the first. It started with a Miguel Cabrera sacrifice fly to right and ended with a two-run shot by J.D. Martinez.
The Indians got one run right back in the first when Murphy tallied his first RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly of his own. The Tribe wasn’t done by any means as it added a five-spot in the second against starter Zach McAllister. Mike Aviles contributed a run-scoring double, Michael Brantley singled home a pair, Murphy added an RBI on a double to left and Nick Swisher ended the frame’s scoring with line-drive single to right.
With the Indians leading 6-4 after just two frames, the two squads traded single runs in the third as Victor Martinez and Lonnie Chisenhall each homered to lead off their respective innings.
Now 7-5 in favor of the Tribe, the Tigers came right back to tie things up in the fifth with two runs of their own. Austin Jackson sacrificed a run home and Nick Castellanos knocked in the tying run with a ground-rule double to right-center.
Detroit took its first lead since the second frame when shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera committed an error on a missed catch in the eighth. The Tigers doubled their lead to two runs on Martinez’s third RBI of the game – a single to center.
With closer Joe Nathan on the bump, Murphy came through for the Tribe in a big way once again. He belted a two-run shot to right-center to knot things up at nine apiece and send the game to extras.
There wasn’t much action in the first few innings of free baseball until the top half of the 13th. With two outs and the game still tied at nine, Alex Avila hit his fourth home run of the season to give the Tigers a one-run lead.
The Indians wouldn’t go away easy though as Brantley knocked home the tying run with one out in the bottom half of the inning with a single to left field. That’s when things got interesting. With runners on second and third after the second out of the inning, Alburquerque came into the game to face pinch-hitter Yan Gomes. After a coaching visit Alburquerque intentionally walked Homes to load the bases with two gone in the inning. With Ryan Raburn now at the plate, Alburquerque committed an illegal move on the mound to allow the game-winning run to come across to score in the most improbable fashion.