Detroit, MI – Quintin Berry hit a bases-loaded, RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning on Thursday and the Tigers edged the Cardinals, 2-1, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
After singles by Ramon Santiago and Jhonny Peralta, Victor Marte (0-1) hit Austin Jackson with a pitch, loading the bases with one out. Berry then slapped a grounder up the middle to plate the deciding run.
"He's been fantastic for us," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He's done a great job."
Joaquin Benoit (1-1) stranded a pair of runners in the top of the 10th to earn the victory and Prince Fielder hit a fourth-inning homer for the Tigers, winners in nine of their last 13 games.
Detroit starter Jacob Turner, who was called up prior to the game, made his season debut and allowed just one run on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts over five innings.
Kyle Lohse was charged with one run on four hits and a walk in a seven-inning start for the Cardinals. He struck out four.
Matt Holliday accounted for St. Louis' lone run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
The only damage attributed to Lohse came with two down in the fourth, when Fielder turned on a hanging curveball and deposited a mammoth shot deep into the seats in right for a 1-0 lead.
The advantage proved short-lived, however, as a walk and a Skip Schumaker double in the fifth set the stage for Holliday's game-tying RBI. Don Kelly made the catch on the shallow fly to right, but his momentum carried him into the railing in foul territory, preventing a throw to home. He suffered a left knee contusion on the play and was later removed.
Holliday had a chance to give the Cardinals the lead in the seventh when came to bat with two outs and Daniel Desclaso on third. Desclaso started the frame with a double into left-center and moved up on a groundout, but was stranded when Holliday went down swinging at a 2-2 curveball.
"These guys are trying hard and sometimes you don't get things to go your way," Lohse said. "It's not like our guys are going up there and laying down. They're putting good at-bats together. We're just one break away, here or there it seems, of busting the game open."
Phil Coke delivered that pitch, and combined with fellow relievers Octavio Dotel, Brayan Villarreal and Benoit to keep the Cardinals off the board after Turner's departure.
"Our bullpen did a sensational job," said Leyland. "We hung in there long enough to get it."
Kelly is day-to-day...The Tigers have won 10 of their last 12 games against the Cardinals at Comerica Park dating back to 2006...Turner made his fourth career start. He was drafted ninth overall by Detroit in 2009...Earlier Thursday, the Tigers reinstated catcher Alex Avila from the 15-day disabled list. He was sidelined since June 6 with a strained right hamstring. They also recalled Turner from Triple-A Toledo while optioning catcher Bryan Holaday to the Mud Hens.