By R.B. FALLSTROM/AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) – One pitch proved costly to Alfredo Simon. The Detroit Tigers’ pitcher wasn’t too disappointed, considering.READ MORE: Belle Isle Park Reopens Giant Slide Friday
“That was a close game, that was a quality start,” Simon said after a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night. “Sometimes they hit it, sometimes they don’t. But I feel really good.”
Kolten Wong hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning and Lance Lynn got his fifth career RBI to back a dominant outing for St. Louis, which avoided a three-game sweep.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus called the weekend “somewhat satisfying.”
“You lose a game by one run the third game of the series, you feel like you had a chance there, but they’re a good team,” Ausmus said. “It was a matter of running into a good pitcher.”
Miguel Cabrera’s RBI double in the first was the only damage against Lynn (3-3), who gave a weary bullpen a break before walking the last two batters he faced – Ian Kinsler and Cabrera – on eight straight balls at the end of his 7 1-3 innings.
Seth Maness’ only pitch resulted in a double-play ball by J.D. Martinez to end the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal finished for his 13th save in 14 chances.
Ausmus had no problem with Martinez swinging at the first pitch.
“You’ve got to be ready to hit with runners in scoring position,” Ausmus said. “It might be the best pitch you get to hit.”
Matt Carpenter added two hits and Peter Bourjos tripled and scored on Lynn’s single in the third. The Cardinals improved to a major league-best 25-12 despite having two players thrown at the plate – the last on a relay from left fielder Yoenis Cespedes that caught Jhonny Peralta and left them with nothing to show for three hits in the seventh.
St. Louis had three late-inning gaffes on the bases in Saturday’s 4-3, 10-inning loss.
Cabrera has four homers and nine RBIs the last four games, including his 400th homer on Sunday.
Simon (4-2) gave up two runs on seven hits in six innings for the Tigers, whose three-game winning streak ended.READ MORE: Woodward Dream Cruise Kicks Off This Weekend: What To Know
Wong had been 1 for 8 in the series before hammering Simon’s fastball an estimated 434 feet to right with one out in the sixth.
Simon struck out Wong earlier with a split-fingered fastball, “so I just tried to confuse him” with a fastball.
“If I throw too many splits, they’re looking for that and I just tried to pound the zone,” Simon said. “He got a good swing on that, so there’s nothing you can do.”
Lynn entered the game a career .071 hitter and has three hits this year, all singles. He sliced a pitch down the right-field line to tie it at 1 in the third.
Tigers: Justin Verlander (elbow) is scheduled for a 45-pitch bullpen session Monday, which could lead to a simulated game. … Victor Martinez fouled out pinch hitting in the seventh in his first appearance of the series. Ausmus said Martinez (knee) had been unavailable the previous three days but would likely DH on Monday.
Cardinals: GM John Mozeliak said it’s too soon to consider a demotion to the bullpen for 23-year-old Carlos Martinez, 3-2 with a 4.73 ERA and struggling to go deep, especially with lefty Marco Gonzalez scuffling in the minors.
Tigers: Kyle Lobstein (3-3, 4.33) faces the Brewers and Mike Fiers (1-4, 5.00) to start a seven-game homestand. Lobstein was knocked out in the third his last time out, surrendering six runs against the Twins.
Cardinals: John Lackey (2-2, 3.22) is the scheduled starter to open a seven-game trip against the Mets’ Matt Harvey (5-1, 2.31). Lackey is 0-1 with a 5.82 ERA in three road starts.
Cabrera is the third youngest player to hit 400 homers at 32 years, 28 days. He trails only Alex Rodriguez (29 years, 316 days) and Albert Pujols (30 years, 222 days).
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