Errors costly in Tigers' loss to Cubs
CHICAGO (AP) -- Detroit Tigers reliever Phil Coke had already seen a replay by the time it was over. Starlin Castro was out, and the winning run shouldn't have counted.
"I can't even be mad," he said. "I honestly can't even be mad because I made my pitches and we made the plays we needed to make. We just didn't get the result we wanted."
Shortstop Jhonny Peralta made two errant throws in the eighth inning, allowing Darwin Barney to scamper home with the final score in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night.
With two outs and two on, Tony Campana hit a grounder to Peralta, whose throw pulled Ramon Santiago off the bag at second. Castro then hit another grounder to Peralta and the veteran infielder threw wide of first, giving the lead to the Cubs.
"It's kind of hard," said Peralta, who was reinstated from the paternity list before the game. "When that situation happens, obviously I don't feel good about what happened. I tried to make it the best I could do."
Coke (1-3) was ready when reporters entered the visiting clubhouse, showing a replay of Castro's ball that indicated Prince Fielder kept his foot on the base when he pulled in Peralta's second errant throw.
"I knew for a fact the guy was out at first base, because there's no way that his body came off the bag with the ball not in his glove," Coke said. "There's no way. He's pushing off of the bag to get to the ball."
Carlos Marmol (1-2) got the last two outs of the eighth for the victory and Shawn Camp finished for his first save as the Cubs snapped a seven-game losing streak against Detroit in their first matchup since the Tigers swept a three-game series at Comerica Park from June 23-25, 2009.
Barney had a run-scoring groundout and a clutch two-run double, helping the Cubs build a 3-0 lead hours after they fired hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. James Rowson, the organization's minor league hitting coordinator, was promoted to replace Jaramillo on an interim basis.
"It's unfortunate," Barney said. "You never like to see somebody go, but we want to move forward. We've got to focus on trying to win ballgames, and we're going to miss Rudy."
Longtime manager Jim Leyland and the Tigers returned to Wrigley Field for the first time since 2006 and found a receptive audience at the cozy neighborhood ballpark. There were dueling chants of "Let's go Tigers" and "Let's go Cubbies" among the crowd of 41,164, and Detroit jerseys and T-shirts were common in the stands and concourses.
Fielder also played his first game on Chicago's North Side since he signed with the Tigers over the winter. The big first baseman spent his first seven major league seasons with Milwaukee and was reunited Tuesday with Dale Sveum, who agreed to become the Cubs' manager in November after a six-year run on the Brewers' coaching staff.
"He's one of my favorite, if not my favorite guy I've ever coached," Sveum said.
With the wind blowing in on an unseasonably cool night in Chicago, Fielder and fellow Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera each received a Wrigley refresher course when their long fly balls in the sixth each died in the outfield. Paul Maholm grinned as he walked off the mound following Fielder's inning-ending drive, but Detroit was just warming up at the plate.
"That's Wrigley Field," Leyland said. "Some days it blows out, some days it blows in. Thursday afternoon it could be blowing out. That's part of the game."
The Tigers put the first two batters on in the seventh, chasing Maholm from the game. With one out and the bases loaded, Santiago hit an RBI single off Casey Coleman and Austin Jackson singled in a pair to tie it at 3.
Jackson's clutch hit was his second in as many games. He also hit a tying two-run double off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Detroit's 7-6 victory at Cincinnati on Sunday.
Maholm allowed two runs and six hits, struck out seven and walked one. The left-hander is 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in his past six starts.
Max Scherzer struck out eight in six innings for Detroit and was charged with three runs, five hits and five walks.
"For the most part, I was working both sides of the plate," he said. "I thought I walked too many batters. My job is to not give those free passes out. Other than that, I thought I was attacking the zone, using all three pitches and location my fastball well. There are some positives from this start."
NOTES: The Tigers placed reliever Octavio Dotel on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow and recalled right-hander Luke Putkonen from Triple-A Toledo. The DL stint is retroactive to June 3. ... Tigers RHP Doug Fister, who is on the DL with a strained left side, is scheduled to throw a side session on Wednesday. ... Leyland said it's too early to tell if LHP Drew Smyly will be able to make his next scheduled start. Smyly left Sunday's victory with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. "It's pretty raw today but it's a lot better than we expected," Leyland said. ... Peralta and his wife, Molly, welcomed twin girls Gabriela Rosa and Laina Katherine on Saturday.