WASHINGTON D.C. -- The Detroit Tigers defeated the Washington Nationals at National Park on Tuesday night to snap a seven-game losing streak. It was close until the very end, but the team from the Motor City prevailed for a 5-4 victory.
Even though the Tigers won, the Nationals (20-13) struck first in the bottom of the second inning. Danny Espinosa knocked a line drive single to right field, scoring Daniel Murphy.
The Tigers (15-17) responded in the top of the fourth inning. Nick Castellanos hit his seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot, to give Detroit a 2-1 lead over the Nationals. The ball was hit at 102 miles per hour and traveled a distance of 403 feet off right-handed starting pitcher Joe Ross.
Michel Fulmer, making his third career major league appearance, allowed a go-ahead home run to Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the fifth inning. The homer scored two runs and gave the Nationals a one-run edge in front of their home crowd.
Believe it or not, Fulmer became the third big league pitcher younger than Bryce Harper to face him, along with Aaron Nola and Jacob Lindgren. In the bottom of the first inning, Fulmer struck out Harper by catching him looking with a two-seam fastball that flew by at 97 miles per hour.
Fulmer (2-1, 6.00 ERA) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks over 5.0 innings of work. The 23-year-old was dominant with his fastball and slider, which allowed him to strike out six batters.
The Tigers scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead over the Nationals. James McCann started it off with an RBI single to right field and Miguel Cabrera added a pinch-hit RBI single to score McCann. The clutch hitting by Detroit chased Ross from the game.
Ross (3-2, 2.29 ERA) allowed five runs during his outing that lasted 6.0 innings. The 22-year-old struck out four and walked two against the Tigers.
Zimmerman hit his second home run of the game and third of the season off Drew VerHagen in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull the Nationals within one run of the Tigers, 5-4.
Francisco Rodriguez came on for the save in the bottom of the ninth inning and made things interesting. He got Ben Revere to ground out, then gave up a double to Anthony Rendon and intentionally walked Harper. With two on and one out, K-Rod struck out Zimmerman and got Murphy to line out to Anthony Gose in center field. The scoreless ninth inning secured the 5-4 win for the Tigers.
The Tigers will send ex-National Jordan Zimmermann (5-1, 1.10 ERA) to the hill on Wednesday night to battle against ex-Tiger Max Scherzer (3-2, 4.60 ERA) at 7:05 PM ET.