Spencer Turnbull allowed three hits in six scoreless innings, and the Detroit Tigers broke the game open with five runs in the fifth on their way to an 8-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.
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The Tigers appeared to dodge a potential problem after second baseman Jonathan Schoop was hit on the right wrist by a pitch. Schoop, who leads Detroit with eight home runs, left the game in the fourth inning with a right wrist contusion, but manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game Schoop was OK. He is expected to play Wednesday.
Turnbull (4-2) struck out three and walked three for the Tigers, who pulled within one game of the New York Yankees for the final postseason spot in the American League. Jeimer Candelario homered and drove in four runs.
“Our starting pitcher got to the second half of the game, which was really nice,” Gardenhire said. “And our offense had one big inning where we strung together a bunch of hits and consistently kind of beat the ball around. So it was a nice night, and we kept adding on.”
Gardenhire was back after missing two games with a stomach illness.
Willi Castro opened the scoring with an RBI single in the fourth. Then Detroit sent 10 batters to the plate the following inning. Victor Reyes hit an RBI single, and Candelario and Jorge Bonifacio each hit two-run singles.
Candelario added a two-run homer in the seventh to make it 8-0.
Jedd Gyorko, Avisail Garcia and Omar Narvaez hit RBI singles for the Brewers in the ninth. Milwaukee actually had the tying run on deck when Ben Gamel hit a foul popup with the bases loaded to end it.
“We’re in September and we’re chasing so I think we can say that the rest of the way that these are important games,” said Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell, whose team is also just below the cutoff for a playoff spot. “You lose a game and you decrease your margin of error. That’s where it sits, so tomorrow is not the last game of the season but it’s a big game.”
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Milwaukee starter Adrian Houser (1-4) allowed five runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. Houser also allowed five runs in a start against Detroit last week.
The Brewers have lost three straight. They had a chance to take the lead when they put men on first and second with nobody out in the third, but Gamel bounced into an unusual 1-5-3 double play — the first of three straight innings Milwaukee hit into a double play against Turnbull.
“I caught that ball and it was just pure panic mode after that,” Turnbull said. “I have no idea why I threw it to third. I don’t know why I thought to do that. I guess I was just thinking lead runner. We’ve never worked on a 1-5-3 double play in my life.”
The Tigers announced after the game they had optioned outfielder Christin Stewart to the alternate training site.
Brewers: Milwaukee activated RHP Corey Knebel (left hamstring) from the injured list and optioned INF/OF Mark Mathias to the alternate training site. Knebel pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
Tigers: Gardenhire said UT Harold Castro (left hamstring) has been running the bases but has actually experienced tightness in his other hamstring.
Corbin Burnes (2-0) starts for Milwaukee on Wednesday in the second and final game of this series. Matthew Boyd (1-5) takes the mound for the Tigers.
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