Smoak makes final out when catcher Pena holds on after collision
SEATTLE – Detroit catcher Brayan Pena held onto Prince Fielder’s relay throw and absorbed a collision with Justin Smoak at home plate for the final out, and the Tigers outlasted the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in 14 innings Wednesday night.
Smoak singled with one out off Joaquin Benoit, and with two outs Dustin Ackley doubled into the right-field corner. Third-base coach Jeff Datz didn’t hesitate in waiving Smoak around with the potential tying run. The relay from the outfield was up the third-base line a bit, but Pena caught it in plenty of time and held onto the ball during the collision.
Detroit took the lead in the top of the 14th when Pena’s bases-loaded groundout scored pinch-runner Don Kelly. The conclusion came long after starters Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer pitched gems in a game that included a whopping 40 strikeouts.
Triunfel hits for cycle
Carlos Triunfel hit for the cycle and Eric Thames and Nick Franklin blasted three-run homers as the Tacoma Rainiers beat Fresno 8-0 in a Pacific Coast League game at Cheney Stadium.
Triunfel already had a double, triple and home run when he came to the plate in the fifth inning. Needing only a single to complete the cycle, the 23-year-old shortstop hit a sharp ground ball off the first baseman’s glove into right field for his fourth hit.
Triunfel later added another single and finished 5 for 5 for the Rainiers (7-7).
He is the first Rainiers player since Raul Ibanez in 1997 to hit for the cycle.
Left-hander James Paxton was impressive en route to his first Triple-A victory. In his third start for Tacoma, Paxton (1-1) allowed two hits in six innings, lowering his earned-run average from 6.23 to 3.68.
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