Reds fall to Tigers on Fielder’s tie-breaker

CINCINNATI (AP) — Coming up even with Detroit Tigers

ace Justin Verlander left the Cincinnati Reds feeling pretty good about

themselves — even though they couldn’t close the deal with their

bullpen.

The Reds forced the reigning American League

MVP and Cy Young Award winner out of the game after six innings before

Prince Fielder drove in the tie-breaking run with a two-out single in

the eighth to lift the Tigers to a 3-2 victory

Saturday.

Cincinnati left six runners on base against

Verlander, three in his last inning, which left Reds manager Dusty

Baker lamenting the missed opportunities.

“We had him

on the ropes a couple of times, but we couldn’t come up with the big

hit,” Baker said.

Brennan Boesch started Detroit’s

two-out rally against Sean Marshall (1-3) with a double off the wall in

center field. After Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked, Fielder —

who hit a solo home run in the fourth — softly lined a single to center

and Boesch slid across the plate just ahead of Chris Heisey’s strong

throw.

Brayan Villareal (2-1) pitched a scoreless

seventh inning to earn the win before a crowd of 42,443, the largest

non-Opening Day, regular-season crowd in the 10-year history of Great

American Ball Park.

Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect

eighth and Jose Valverde duplicated the effort in the ninth for his 11th

save.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead on two-out solo

home runs to right off Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo. Switch-hitting

shortstop Ramon Santiago hit his second homer of the season on a 2-1

pitch in the second inning, and Fielder hit his 10th on the first pitch

from Arroyo in the fourth.

Santiago’s homer, which

extended to 55 the number of consecutive games in which at least one

home run has been hit at Great American Ball Park, did and didn’t

surprise Arroyo.

“It was a 2-1 sinker on the outer

half,” he said. “That happens in this ballpark — or maybe he’s stronger

than he looks. That’s not an easy lineup to pitch to. They have a lot

of pop, and since they’re an American League team, you don’t know to

pitch to them.”

The Reds tied it in the fourth on

Heisey’s leadoff single, Joey Votto’s drive to left that Delmon Young

misplayed into a double and Todd Frazier’s two-out single to

right.

“His stuff is really good, but when you go up

there, you’ve got to have confidence that you’re going to get the job

done,” Frazier said about Verlander. “I got a little fired

up.”

Votto extended his hitting streak to a

career-high 15 games (29-for-53, .547), surpassing his 14-game streak in

2009. The streak is the longest by a Red since Brandon Phillips’

15-game streak from May 28 through June 12,

2010.

Neither starter was involved in the decision.

Verlander threw 127 pitches, his second-highest total of the season to

the 131 he threw on April 16 in a 3-2, complete-game win at Kansas City.

He allowed six hits and two runs with three walks and nine strikeouts

in six innings. Arroyo went seven innings, giving up five hits and two

runs with four strikeouts.

“I’ll take a 2-2 tie with

Verlander any day,” Arroyo said. “Once we tied it up, I figured that was

all we’d get, and we were willing to take our chances later in the

game.”

NOTES: Both teams are 3-2

in interleague play. … Cincinnati LHP Bill Bray was scheduled to pitch

an inning for Single-A Dayton Saturday night and another on Monday

during a rehab assignment. Bray has been out since April 24 with a groin

injury. … Detroit activated OF Austin Jackson from the 15-day DL and

recalled IF Herman Perez from Single-A Lakeland. The Tigers placed SS

Jhonny Peralta on paternity leave and optioned RHP Jose Ortega to

Triple-A Toledo. Perez grounded out to third in the eighth inning in his

major league debut. … Reds OF Kristopher Negron drew a seventh-inning

walk in his first major league plate appearance.