Tigers Drop Heartbreaker to Nationals in Extra Innings, 5-4


The Detroit Tigers endured a heartbreaking loss to the Washington Nationals in a gripping 5-4 game that stretched into extra innings. The Tigers, struggling to find consistent offense this season, saw their efforts fall short despite a promising mid-game comeback. This defeat marks a missed opportunity for the Tigers to edge closer to a .500 record, bringing their season tally to 32-34.

Early Struggles and a Tight Battle

The game began shaky for Tigers’ starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, throwing six straight balls and walking leadoff hitter CJ Abrams. However, Maeda quickly recovered, inducing a double play from Lane Thomas and striking out Jesse Winker looking to escape the inning unscathed despite throwing only five strikes out of 14 pitches.

In the second inning, the Tigers’ bats showed some promise against Nationals’ rookie southpaw Mitchell Parker. Gio Urshela led off with a groundball single, and rookie Justyn-Henry Malloy drew a walk. However, the Tigers couldn’t capitalize, with Wenceel Perez popping out, Jake Rogers flying out to deep left center, and Ryan Kreidler grounding out to end the inning with no runs.

Nationals Take Early Lead

Maeda’s command issues continued into the third inning. After giving up a hit to Nick Senzel and a walk to Jacob Young, Maeda managed two strikeouts but walked three more batters, bringing home the game’s first run. The Tigers avoided further damage as Maeda struck out Eddie Rosario to end the inning, trailing 1-0.

The Tigers’ offense remained silent in the bottom of the third, going down in order.

Tigers’ Mid-Game Surge

Maeda settled in the fourth inning, retiring the Nationals in order with two strikeouts and a flyout. His day ended on a high note, handing over to Beau Brieske for the fifth inning.

In the fifth inning, Brieske encountered trouble, giving up a leadoff single to Joey Gallo and an RBI triple to CJ Abrams. A sacrifice fly by Lane Thomas extended the Nationals’ lead to 3-0.

The Tigers responded in the bottom of the fifth. Jake Rogers flew out, but Ryan Kreidler walked, followed by Andy Ibanez reaching on an error. Mark Canha walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Riley Greene. Greene delivered with a bases-clearing triple, advancing home on a throwing error to put the Tigers ahead 4-3. Urshela added a single before Malloy struck out to end the inning.

Nationals Tie It Up

Tyler Holton provided solid relief in the sixth and seventh innings, retiring the Nationals in order. However, the Nationals tied the game in the eighth inning. Errors by the Tigers’ defense, including a bobble by Kreidler, allowed Lane Thomas to score. A sacrifice fly by Ildemaro Vargas tied the game at 4-4.

Jason Foley pitched the ninth for the Tigers, allowing a single but keeping the Nationals scoreless. In the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers had a chance to win it. After two quick outs, Zach McKinstry singled and stole second. Matt Vierling drew a walk, bringing rookie Colt Keith to the plate. Keith struck out, sending the game to extra innings.

Heartbreak in Extra Innings

In the 10th inning, Andrew Chafin took the mound with Jacob Young starting on second base. A strikeout of CJ Abrams turned disastrous when the ball got past catcher Jake Rogers, allowing Young to advance to third. Lane Thomas’ sacrifice fly brought Young home, giving the Nationals a 5-4 lead.

The Tigers had a chance in the bottom of the 10th with Colt Keith starting on second base. However, they failed to bring him home, ending the game with a 5-4 loss.

The Tigers had the game within their grasp but couldn’t seal the deal, a recurring theme in their season. As they look to rebound, Reese Olson will take the mound in the next game, hoping to lead Detroit to a much-needed victory.

Top Tigers Today:

  • 3B Gio Urshela: 3-5
  • LF Riley Greene: 1-5, 3 RBI
  • LHP Tyler Holton: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 K

Up Next:

The Tigers will look to bounce back in the second and third games of the series against the Nationals:

  • RHP Reese Olson (1-7, 3.43 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Irvin (4-5, 3.12 ERA) – Wednesday, June 12 – 6:40 PM
  • RHP Casey Mize (1-4, 4.73 ERA) vs. LHP Mackenzie Gore (5-5, 3.57 ERA) – Thursday, June 13 – 1:10 PM


For more from our Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21

Contact: Broder@woodwardsports.com

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Original Photo Credit: © David Reginek – USA TODAY Sports