HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Plenty of things are going wrong for the Detroit Tigers, to the tune of a seven-game losing streak.READ MORE: Sabrina Spellman Makes An Appearance On The CW's Riverdale; Kiernan Shipka Reveals 'Fans Will Get Some Clarity'
In a 5-4 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday night, that included Miguel Cabrera getting thrown out at third on a close play that was reviewed, an error on Anibal Sanchez when he botched a bunt that helped lead to the tying run, and — perhaps most glaringly — the pitch from Mark Lowe that turned into a game-ending homer with one out in the ninth inning.
“You learn quickly in baseball, if you dwell on the last play,” said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus, whose club blew a 4-1 lead, “the next play is going to kill you.”
One play that stuck in Ausmus’ mind came in the eighth, when Cabrera walked and reached second on a single by Nick Castellanos. Cabrera came up limping a bit after jamming his right foot on the bag at second, but remained in the game.
Then, when a pitch by Blake Treinen briefly bounced away from catcher Wilson Ramos, both runners took off. Ramos’ throw bounced in the dirt and was wide of the bag, but third baseman Anthony Rendon’s tag was ruled to have gotten Cabrera out.
The play was reviewed — and the call stood.
“Sometimes the simplest things in replay become really complex for no good reason,” Ausmus said. “I don’t understand it. I don’t get it, either.”
After Sanchez’s error on a bunt by opposing pitcher Stephen Strasburg loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh, Kevin Ryan came in and gave up Ben Revere’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-all.
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Lowe (1-2) then took the loss for the second game in a row, serving up pinch hitter Clint Robinson’s drive to right moments after Bryce Harper was ejected from the dugout.
“I just tried to go up with a fastball there and it kind of leaked over the middle,” Lowe said.
He said Sunday’s 8-3 loss to the Texas Rangers — when Lowe combined with fellow reliever Justin Wilson to give up seven runs in the eighth — was worse.
Lowe insisted, “Once again, the sun went down tonight. It’s going to come up again tomorrow.”
Shawn Kelley (1-0) got the victory with one pitch of work, retiring the only batter he faced in the ninth on an infield popup as the Nationals ended a four-game losing streak.READ MORE: Farmington Hills Police, Fire Department Participate In Toys For Tots Drive
Strasburg got a no-decision on an evening when news emerged that he was going to skip his first chance at free agency, instead agreeing to a deal that will pay him $175 million from 2017-23.
Castellanos and J.D. Martinez each hit a two-run homer off Strasburg, who was saluted with a standing ovation when he was pulled after walking the leadoff batter in the eighth — presumably because folks in the announced crowd of 27,153 had heard word of his new contract.
“Everything’s not going our way,” Martinez said. “It’ll change.”
Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who left Washington as a free agent in the offseason, said it “felt a little weird” to be a visitor at Nationals Park.
“To be honest, I thought I was going to be here my whole career,” said Zimmermann, who was drafted by the Nationals, “and it just didn’t work out.”
He is scheduled to start Wednesday against right-hander Max Scherzer. Before Monday’s first pitch, a video retrospective of Zimmermann’s Nationals career was shown on the scoreboard, ending with the message: “Welcome back, Jordan!”
Tigers: OF Cameron Maybin (15-day DL) felt soreness in his right shoulder after playing center field at Triple-A Toledo on Saturday. He played as a designated hitter on Sunday and Monday. … RHP Shane Green (on 15-day DL with a blister on his right middle finger) is not yet ready to begin a throwing program.
A couple of first-round picks in the 2011 amateur draft face off Tuesday, when Nationals RHP Joe Ross (3-1, 1.23 ERA) goes against Tigers RHP Michael Fulmer (1-1, 6.30 ERA). Ross was taken 25th overall five years ago, while Fulmer was a supplemental pick at No. 44. Ross will be making the 19th start of his major league career; Fulmer his third.
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