Gomez returns from beaning to lead Brewers over Tigers 3-2
DETROIT (AP) Carlos Gomez was back in the lineup a day after being beaned, and he wasted little time showing that he was OK.
Gomez led off the game with a home run and added a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Gomez was hit in the left earflap by a pitch from New York Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard on Sunday, but Brewers manager Craig Counsell said there wasn't much hesitation in allowing him to play in the series opener against Detroit.
''He passed all the tests (Sunday),'' Counsell said. ''As long as the doctor clears everything, and he felt fine, and he wanted to play, it was OK.''
Gomez began the game with a drive to left off Kyle Lobstein (3-4). With the score tied at 2 and two outs in the seventh, Gomez singled up the middle to score Luis Sardinas from second.
Jeremy Jeffress (1-0) earned the win. Milwaukee's Jonathan Broxton worked through a jam in the eighth, and Francisco Rodriguez finished for his eighth save in as many chances.
The Tigers had men on first and second with no outs in the eighth against Broxton, but Victor Martinez grounded into a double play and J.D. Martinez struck out.
Victor Martinez is hitting only .216 after offseason knee surgery. He came up limping after bouncing into that double play.
''If I'm playing, it's because I'm able to go out there and put good swings and good at-bats,'' he said. ''Like I said before, it's not excuse, the knee or anything like that.''
After Gomez's homer, Detroit tied it in the bottom of the first when leadoff hitter Anthony Gose singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Ian Kinsler's grounder.
Rajai Davis doubled in the second and stole third for the Tigers. Then James McCann dropped an outstanding bunt up the third-base line with two outs. That infield single gave Detroit a 2-1 lead, and McCann went to second when Milwaukee pitcher Mike Fiers threw wildly to first on the play for an error.
Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez tied it with a solo homer in the fourth.
It began to rain hard in the bottom of the sixth, and although many fans cleared out of the lower seating bowl, the game went on. J.D. Martinez doubled to send Miguel Cabrera to third and chase Fiers, but Jeffress came on and struck out Davis to end the inning.
The rain let up in the seventh, although there were still flashes of lightning in the distance. The Tigers failed to turn a double play on a grounder by Sardinas, and that turned out to be crucial three batters later when Gomez came up with men on first and second. His base hit made it 3-2.
Jeffress remained in the game through the seventh before giving way to Broxton.
Fiers allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. Lobstein allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Victor Martinez hustled down the line as best he could to avoid being doubled up in the eighth. After he was called out, the play was reviewed. It was very close, but the call was not overturned.
''From that one angle I thought he was safe, but that's why they have all these angles in New York and everything,'' Broxton said. ''I knew I had to make some pitches. If they did call him safe, I had to make a pitch and try to get another groundball double play.''
Brewers: Gomez and Syndergaard exchanged gracious Twitter messages after Sunday's game. Gomez said he could tell when he watched the replay that Syndergaard was concerned.
Tigers: Detroit RHP Justin Verlander (strained triceps) threw a 45-pitch bullpen session before Monday's game, and RHP Bruce Rondon (biceptal tendinitis) threw 25 pitches.
Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-4) takes the mound Tuesday night against Milwaukee RHP Jimmy Nelson (1-4).