SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers rallied from a pair of multi-run deficits before Michael Mahtook finally gave them a lead against the Padres with a two-run single in the ninth inning of Detroit's 7-5 victory Sunday to avoid a sweep and end the team's eight-game losing streak."Any time you have
SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers rallied from a pair of multi-run deficits before Michael Mahtook finally gave them a lead against the Padres with a two-run single in the ninth inning of Detroit's 7-5 victory Sunday to avoid a sweep and end the team's eight-game losing streak.
"Any time you have a losing streak like that, it's nice to get that win and get the monkey off your back," Mahtook said.
With the game tied at 5, Ian Kinsler began the ninth with a double off San Diego closer Brandon Maurer. Left fielder Matthew Szczur was unable to corral the ball with a dive, and it deflected off his glove as Kinsler moved to second. Justin Upton walked one batter later. After J.D. Martinez's groundout to catcher Austin Hedges advanced both runners, Mahtook grounded Maurer's full-count pitch, a 99 mph fastball, into right field to put Detroit ahead for the first time.
"He paints 99 [mph] outside on the corner, and he shoots it through the four hole," Padres manager Andy Green said. "His stuff was good today."
• Mahtook comes up big vs. Padres
Green expressed confidence in Maurer as his closer, adding he was confounded by the right-hander's struggles in non-save situations. With a chance to earn a save, Maurer has a 4.60 ERA, compared to a 8.59 mark when a save isn't on the line. Maurer said he takes the same mental approach to all of his outings.
"Come out and chuck," he said.
San Diego took the lead in the first when William Myers homered on the first pitch he saw from Jordan Zimmermann. After Erick Aybar also took Zimmermann deep in the second, Szczur tripled to score Hunter Renfroe and give San Diego a 3-0 lead.
• Myers seeking #ASGWorthy swing
Detroit tied the game in the fourth, scoring three runs on four hits, three of which went for extra bases, against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard. San Diego quickly retook the lead, scoring twice in the bottom half of the frame, tagging Zimmermann with five earned runs in four innings.
"You look at their lineup, and I've probably only heard of two or three guys,'' Zimmermann said.
The Tigers tied it again on Nicholas Castellanos' home run off Richard in the sixth.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Maton keeps mowing: Right-hander Phil Maton continued the excellent start to his Major League career Sunday. Despite allowing a pair of singles for the second straight outing, Maton, a 24-year-old rookie, struck out the side to in the seventh strand two Tigers and keep the game even. He has let to allow a run through eight appearance and has a 17-game scoreless streak going back to Triple-A El Paso.
"Phil Maton got through a really kind of first dicey situation he put himself into in the big leagues," Green said.
Nicholas goes Caste-oppo: With Detroit trailing 5-3 in the sixth, Castellanos sent Richard's 1-1 fastball the opposite way for a two-run home run to right field. The game-tying shot was a low liner; its launch angle of 24 degree was tied for the second lowest of Castellanos' nine home runs this year.
"It felt really good, especially that it didn't land in somebody's glove," Castellanos said.
The Tigers threatened for more in the inning, putting runners on the corners for Kinsler, but Kirby Yates struck him out to temporarily preserve the tie and leave Jose Cabrera waiting on deck.
"We're still in last place. It's only one win.'' -- Miguel Cabrera on the Tigers snapping their season-high, eight-game losing streak
"This game's difficult, and you get tried at times, and it's about how quickly you compose yourself after those trying times." -- Richard on his outing in which he allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings
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Upton extended his streak of reaching base to 23 straight games since May 31, the third-longest active streak in the Majors. He trails only the Yankees' Aaron Judge (28) and the Reds' Joey Votto (25). On top of that, Upton made a nice sliding grab that prevented an extra-base hit.
Tigers: Detroit turns to ace Justin Verlander on Tuesday against the Royals as it opens a 10-day homestand after a scratchy West Coast road trip. Verlander (4-4, 4.52) carried a perfect game into the sixth inning of his last start in Seattle on Wednesday, before exiting with a no-decision. Verlander is 22-10 lifetime versus the Royals.
Padres: Coming off his best road start of the season, right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (6-6, 4.95) starts Tuesday's series opener against the Braves at Petco Park. Chacin has a 1.72 ERA and .161 batting average against at home. He'll look to keep it going at 7:10 p.m. PT.
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Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego. He covered the Tigers on Friday.
Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.