3-run fifth lifts Tigers over D-backs in desert

3-run fifth lifts Tigers over D-backs in desert

PHOENIX -- The Tigers used a three-run rally in a big fifth inning to overcome an early one-run deficit, as they won the series opener against the D-backs, 7-3, on Tuesday night at Chase Field.

After the Tigers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the game's first two innings, the D-backs scored three runs in the third on RBI hits by Paul Goldschmidt, Yasmany Tomas and Brandon Drury. Arizona starter Robbie Ray couldn't make it hold, as the Tigers' bats came alive in the fifth with Miguel Cabrera's RBI double and Mikie Mahtook's two-run single.

"Give Robbie Ray credit. He struck out a bunch of guys, but we were able to score some runs," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "We had a couple of big hits, a couple of big home runs. And the bullpen did an outstanding job."

Justin Verlander (3-2) picked up the win, allowing three runs on seven hits over six-plus innings, while Ray (2-3) took the loss. Verlander was followed by four Tigers relievers, who nailed down the win.

Verlander grinds through outing for quality start

Verlander strikes out seven

"I just walked too many guys," said Ray, who issued five walks. "This is a lineup you can't do that with. They make you pay for it. I walked the leadoff guy twice, and he scored. Just can't do that."

Mahtook delivers: With one run in and the bases loaded in the fifth, Ray was one out away from escaping the inning with the game tied at 3. But Mahtook lined a two-run single to center to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead. Nicholas Castellanos was thrown out trying to go from first to third on the play, ending the inning.

"Totally different outing," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said about if Ray had retired Mahtook. "I think he would get out of that inning somewhere in the low-90-pitch range, maybe the high-80-pitch range, the score would have been tied 3-3 and we'd be talking about a different story right now. You've got to give Mahtook credit. He got a little mistake, drove it through the middle of the diamond. He did exactly what he was supposed to do."

Rough stretch continues for D-backs

Mahtook's two-run single

Out of a jam: Ausmus allowed Verlander to start the seventh, and the right-hander walked Chris Herrmann to lead off the inning. Verlander then allowed a single to A.J. Pollock. Ausmus brought in left-hander Blaine Hardy, who struck out the lefty-swinging David Peralta, and then Shane Greene, who retired Goldschmidt and Tomas to end the threat.

"They all did a nice job," Ausmus said. "Hardy came in and got the lefty. Then Greenie came in and got Goldschmidt, and after the intentional walk to Jake Lamb, struck out Tomas to end the inning. That helped us out a lot."

Greene strikes out Tomas

Justin Upton set a new high mark for Tigers exit velocity this year at 114.2 mph, per Statcast™, on his eighth-inning homer to center -- the hardest-hit ball for the team this season. He had the club's previous high, too, with a 113.5-mph single last Sunday. The projected 454-foot distance is also the longest homer for the Tigers this year. A former D-backs No. 1 Draft pick, it was the 72nd career homer for Upton at Chase Field.

Statcast: Upton's 454-ft. homer

D-backs reliever T.J. McFarland was struck on the left ankle by a ball off the bat of James McCann in the sixth. McFarland left the game, noticeably limping. Lovullo said after the game there was no ankle break, and that he had gotten a "very positive" report from the medical team. McFarland will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

McFarland hit with comebacker

In the bottom of the third, Tomas lined a two-out single to left with Goldschmidt on second. Tigers left fielder Upton made the throw home, and Goldschmidt was called safe at the plate, sliding just ahead of the tag by catcher McCann. Ausmus asked for the review, which upheld the call.

Goldschmidt safe at home in 3rd

Tigers: Left-hander Matthew Boyd (2-2, 3.78 ERA) gets the start in the back end of a two-game Interleague series at Chase Field on Wednesday at 8:40 p.m. CT. It's Boyd's seventh start of the season and the first of his career against the D-backs.

D-backs: Zack Godley will be called up from Triple-A Reno to start Wednesday night's game against the Tigers at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field. Godley made one other spot start this year, allowing two runs over five innings to the Padres on April 26.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.