That prevented right fielder Josh Reddick from having any chance at a leaping grab. Reddick and center fielder Coco Crisp immediately protested, pointing up at the stands in the hope of a fan-interference call. But umpires upheld the home run after a replay review.
“I have no doubt I was going to catch that ball. When I looked at the replay, that’s what I thought,” Reddick said. “It’s totally frustrating that a fan can influence the game.”
Gary Darling, the crew chief, was umpiring in right field. He disagreed, even after the replay.
“It was clear he was not going to catch the ball, so it was clearly going to be a home run,” Darling said. “There wasn’t any other evidence on replay to turn it another way.”
Scherzer came out of the bullpen in the seventh and gave up a run, then ran into trouble again in the eighth. With the Tigers ahead 5-4, he allowed a walk and a double to start the inning. But after an intentional walk to load the bases, Leyland left his ace on the mound.
Scherzer struck out Reddick, who swung and missed at what would have been ball four on a low, inside pitch. Stephen Vogt struck out too, but pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo’s line drive to left nearly fell in before landing foul.
Callaspo eventually lined out to center.
“It was surreal,” said Scherzer, the winning pitcher in both Detroit victories this series. “Maybe it’s not the ninth inning, but that’s the stuff you dream about pitching — bases loaded, eighth inning, no outs, and I was able to do it.”
Detroit, held hitless through four innings in a game of twists and turns, added three runs in the eighth on a wild pitch and a two-run double by Omar Infante that made it 8-4.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run single in the ninth, bringing the potential tying run to the plate, but Joaquin Benoit struck out Seth Smith to end it.