J. Wilson able to put blown save behind him

After allowing Trumbo's homer Tuesday, closer seals win on Wednesday

May 18th, 2017

DETROIT -- Tigers closer wanted a second chance, and he got one. After his first blown save of the year in Tuesday's 13-inning 13-11 loss to the Orioles, Wilson came back the next night to lock down a 5-4 win.

"It's never easy when you're closing a one-run game," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "You have a very small margin of error. It's good that he got right back on the horse, got the job done and put [Tuesday] behind him."

Wilson recorded the final out of the eighth on Tuesday and the first two outs of the ninth, before , who led the American League with 47 home runs in 2016, homered on a fastball above the zone to tie the game. It was just the second time Wilson had allowed a run in 18 appearances.

"I don't want to say it was a fluke, because Trumbo is a great hitter," Wilson said. "But most guys probably take that pitch [Tuesday]. For him to even hit it on a line like that, I was pretty shocked out there."

On Wednesday, Wilson entered another one-run game with a chance for redemption. Orioles designated hitter led off with an infield single on a ball bobbled by shortstop .Then Wilson struck out J.J. Hardy and walked pinch-hitter Joey Rickard to put the tying run in scoring position with Orioles sluggers and Manny Machado due up.

Jones flew out to right, allowing Mancini to advance to third. But then Wilson struck out Machado on a 97-mph fastball well above the zone when first-base umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled that Machado swung. Machado spiked his helmet on the dirt in disagreement.

"Yeah, of course I'd like it a little less nerve-racking," Wilson said. "Really, I don't even want to get to Machado or Jones. I'd like to get the first three guys out."

Though it wasn't a spotless inning for Wilson, he put the previous day's outing behind him and grabbed his third save. He powered through every at-bat, with a 95.2 mph average velocity on his 30 pitches, according to Statcast™.

Wilson, who holds a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings, said he wasn't thinking about the blown save at all on Wednesday. He keeps his focus on the hitters in front of him, as well as the size of the lead, so he knows how to give his team the best chance to win.

"[If] I got a three-run lead for a save opportunity, I'm probably gonna try to stay in the heart of the plate a little bit more," he said. "One-run lead, especially with Baltimore's lineup, I don't want to say you've gotta be careful, but you gotta be a little bit smarter."