DETROIT (AP) — With two outs, a runner on first and his team up by a run, Arizona reliever Aaron Heilman walked Casper Wells.
Then, David Hernandez came in and walked Magglio Ordonez. Suddenly, Miguel Cabrera was at the plate with the bases loaded.
"We walked ourselves into the heart of their order," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "And they made us pay for it."
Cabrera hit a go-ahead single and the Detroit Tigers scored seven runs with two outs in the eighth inning to beat the Diamondbacks 8-3 on Sunday. Arizona wasted a fine start by left-hander Joe Saunders, who allowed a run and four hits in seven innings.
"Thank God they took Saunders out," Detroit starter Brad Penny said. "He threw a great game. He was making pitches with everything — pitching in and out, up and down and locating his off-speed stuff."
The Tigers trailed 2-1 when pinch-hitter Don Kelly singled with one out in the eighth off Heilman (4-1). After Austin Jackson struck out, Wells drew a walk.
Hernandez came on and didn't retire any of the four batters he faced. He walked Ordonez, allowed Cabrera's two-run single and gave up RBI singles to Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta.
Brandon Inge hit a two-run single off Bryan Shaw to make it 7-2, and Kelly reached on an error, with another run scoring.
"We played a tough game, but they've got a great offense and they got everything rolling all at once. That's why you have to get all 27 outs," Arizona outfielder Chris Young said. "You just have to roll with the punches in a game like this. It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. You have games like this, and you have to move on."
Detroit was playing in front of its third home sellout of the season — the team retired former manager Sparky Anderson's No. 11 before the game. Gibson and Arizona bench coach Alan Trammell played for Anderson when the Tigers won the 1984 World Series. They received a nice ovation before the game.
"That was embarrassing. I'm shy about things like that, and I didn't expect it," Gibson said. "I kept hoping they would take the camera off of us, because today was about Sparky, not us. But it was very appreciated. Tram and I both did a lot of things in this city, good times and some tough times, and it is very humbling to realize that the people here appreciated what we did."
Peralta gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the second with his 12th homer, down the left-field line. Saunders quieted the crowd after that, allowing only one more hit before leaving the game. He has thrown at least six innings in 11 consecutive starts.
Saunders struck out eight and walked one.
"He was done," Gibson said. "He did his job, but we didn't finish it off."
Arizona scored twice in the seventh to take a 2-1 lead. Young led off with a double and Miguel Montero followed with a tying single. Penny got the next two outs on popups, but Gerardo Parra hit a single and Ryan Roberts followed with another to put the Diamondbacks ahead.
Roberts was in the starting lineup only because Melvin Mora was a late scratch with a bad back.
Al Alburquerque (5-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for Detroit.
Penny went 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs and eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Alburquerque, who has been outstanding all season, relieved with two on in the seventh. He allowed a walk to load the bases, then struck out Stephen Drew to end the threat.
Alburquerque gave up two hits in the eighth but worked out of that jam, too. He lowered his ERA to 1.95. He has struck out 46 hitters in 27 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Montero and Roberts had three hits each for Arizona, and Peralta had three for the Tigers. ... Detroit 2B Carlos Guillen (left knee) is scheduled to start a rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Lakeland on Monday. ... Jackson struck out twice in the eighth inning and four times in the game.
- Jhonny Peralta
- Aaron Heilman
- Magglio Ordonez
- Joe Saunders
- Kirk Gibson
- David Hernandez
- Miguel Cabrera
- Brandon Inge
- Detroit Tigers
- Arizona bench coach Alan Trammell
- Ryan Roberts
- Detroit starter Brad Penny