DETROIT -- Nick Castellanos awakened a Tigers offense that had been dormant all series with a bases-clearing triple in the eighth inning, breaking open a pitching duel and helping Detroit avoid a series sweep to the Brewers with a 5-2 win on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
"It was trending like some of the recent games for about seven innings," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "That's exactly what we were talking about, somebody to step up."
Castellanos tied a career high with four RBIs. The first also came in a bases-loaded opportunity, but on a fourth-inning groundout in which Castellanos barely beat a double-play throw. Detroit scored a lone run out of the bases-loaded, no-out situation, a missed chance that temporarily came back to haunt them when Elian Herrera doubled in Khris Davis in the seventh to knot the game at 2.
"That's a good at-bat," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's how you have success in this league."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Greene is gold:Shane Greene, making his first start since ulnar neuritis forced him out last Friday at St. Louis, showed no ill effects, instead numbing Brewers bats aside from Ryan Braun's fourth-inning home run. Greene didn't allow another hit after that, delivering 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball and leaving with a lead. That didn't last, but the low-scoring duel remained, allowing Detroit to eventually capitalize.
All square in the seventh: The Brewers forged a 2-2 tie in a seventh inning that included two perfectly-placed hits -- Luis Sardinas' chop single past third base and Herrera's tying double just inside of the right-field line -- but Milwaukee missed a chance to push ahead. With the Tigers' infield playing shallow, Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado hit a line drive right to shortstop, and Sardinas was easily doubled off third base.
"We just had bad luck there," Counsell said. "Maldy did his job. He hit the ball hard. He's not having much luck. I thought Maldy was going to hit a ball hard here, I thought he was going to make contact and hit the ball hard. You bring the infield in and you think it opens up some holes. He just hit it in the wrong spot."
Damage control: Lohse lived on the edge of danger for much of the night, but had a knack for making the big pitch. In the fourth inning, the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out but managed just one run after Lohse induced a pair of ground balls to the middle of the infield, including James McCann's inning-ending double play. In the fifth, Lohse surrendered a two-out double to Ian Kinsler, but walked Miguel Cabrera before getting another inning-ending ground ball from Martinez to keep the deficit 2-1.
"I think I said a start or two ago that I felt the results were eventually going to start showing, the way I've been feeling," Lohse said. More >
Cespeedy: After a leadoff double in the second inning, Cespedes opted not to wait for a right-handed hitter to come to bat once he realized the jump he could get off of Lohse. He took off for third base with Collins and Maldonado having a clear look. Cespedes swiped the base easily, then scored when Maldonado's throw sailed into left field. It was Cespedes' second steal of third base in as many tries this season after going 6-for-7 stealing third last year.
"There's so much emphasis on holding runners at first and stopping them from stealing second," Ausmus said, "a lot of times pitchers tend to forget that you can steal third, too. Cespy does an excellent job of acting like he's not doing anything and then surprising you."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Braun became the first Brewer to reach double-digit home runs this season when he connected off Greene for a fourth-inning solo shot that tied the game at 1. It was Braun's ninth home run in his last 21 games, beginning April 28. The only Major Leaguer with more home runs since that date is Washington's Bryce Harper, who has 10.
The Tigers haven't been swept by a last-place team in a three-game series at Comerica Park since the Mariners, then fourth in the four-team American League West, did it April 26-28, 2011. Detroit hasn't been swept at home by a last-place team 10 games or more under .500 since the Royals did it in the final week of the 2008 season.
It took just 39 seconds for Major League Baseball's replay command center to overturn a call at first base after Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged Jose Iglesias' infield single to shortstop in the second inning. Replay showed Iglesias was out, and the inning was over.
PAINFUL ROAD TRIP
Brewers head athletic trainer Dan Wright ran to Carlos Gomez's side for the second time in four days after Gomez was hit by a pitch in a bad spot in the sixth. On Sunday in New York, Gomez was struck on the left side of his helmet by a 97-mph fastball from Noah Syndergaard. On Wednesday, it was a 93-mph fastball from Greene that struck Gomez on the right forearm. After a long look from Wright, Gomez stayed in the game, and there was hope that he won't miss any time.
"I think he's OK," Counsell said.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: The Brewers' 10-game, 10-day road trip rolls on Thursday in Atlanta for the start of a four-game series at Turner Field. Matt Garza, coming off the poorest start of his career (10 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Mets) starts the opener against right-hander Julio Teheran, with first pitch at 6:10 p.m. CT.
Tigers: The Tabbies have a quick turnaround for a series-opening matinee against the Astros, who fittingly arrive for Space Day at Comerica Park. David Price, whose dog is named Astro, takes the mound for the 1:08 ET start.