Tucker out: Astros rookie stings Tigers again
Left fielder makes up for missed catch with 9th-inning blast
HOUSTON -- Preston Tucker's diving catch that was overturned in the fifth inning led to the Tigers' go-ahead run Saturday night. The Astros' rookie left fielder was determined not to make it the winning run.
Tucker slammed Tigers closer Bruce Rondon's 1-2 fastball into the right-field seats to tie the game at 1 in the ninth -- his third game-tying home run against Detroit this season and second to have come in the ninth inning.
"It's a little frustrating we lost," Tucker said after the Tigers' 4-2 win in 11 innings. "I was just trying to get on base and get something started for our team. But I think everybody was battling from the first pitch to the last, it was a tough game because everyone was just trying so hard to push that one run across -- we knew it'd be a low-scoring game. We got an opportunity to win the series [Sunday] and that's what we're looking forward to."
Rondon's pitch, which Statcast™ clocked at 100 mph, hung a tad over the plate, and Tucker shortened his swing to put it out for his 12th homer of the season.
The homer snapped a 2-for-20 skid for Tucker, who has shifted up and down the lineup while Astros manager A.J. Hinch tries to balance his offense each day.
"The way the lineup functions right now, I like it balanced with a left-handed hitter hitting second," Hinch said before the game. "Most of these guys have grown accustomed to be comfortable wherever their name is written in. Breaking up the right-handed bats we have in the top four or five in our lineup, it's been important to find a guy who can do that."
At least against the Tigers, Tucker has shown he's more than capable.
"They've got one more game with him," Hinch said after the game. "Unless we see them again, they're probably tired of seeing Tuck up to bat with a chance to tie the game with a homer."