Jhonny Peralta had three hits and two RBIs one night after he made two costly throwing errors, and the Detroit Tigers rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-4 on Wednesday.
Brennan Boesch had four hits, including a solo homer, and made a diving catch in right field as the Tigers improved to 8-1 in their last nine games against the Cubs. The one loss during that stretch occurred in the series opener Tuesday night, when Peralta made two errant throws from shortstop in the eighth inning that led to the decisive run for Chicago in a 4-3 victory.
But Peralta bounced back in a big way in the middle game of the series, and the Tigers will send Justin Verlander to the mound Thursday afternoon with a chance at a 4-2 interleague road trip.
With one out and runners on the corners in the sixth, Peralta hit a drive to center for a two-run double that tied it at 4. He advanced on Gerald Laird's bunt single against Matt Garza and scored on Ramon Santiago's comebacker to put Detroit in front.
Boesch added his seventh homer in the seventh and an RBI single in the eighth, delighting the sizeable portion of Tigers fans among the season-high crowd of 41,326 at Wrigley Field.
Alfonso Soriano, Darwin Barney and Steve Clevenger had two hits apiece for the Cubs, who had won four straight home games. Joe Mather, inserted into the lineup when third baseman Ian Stewart was scratched with a sore left wrist, contributed an RBI single but also made an error that fueled Detroit's four-run rally in the sixth.
Garza (2-5) allowed five runs, three earned, and seven hits in six innings. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.26 ERA in his last seven starts.
Soriano and Bryan LaHair hit consecutive run-scoring doubles to make it 4-1 in the fifth, but the Tigers eventually solved Garza on the way to their third victory in the last four games.
Boesch sparked the big sixth inning with a leadoff single. Miguel Cabrera then hit a grounder to Mather, who kicked it toward second for an error. That miscue opened the door for Tigers, who got a one-out RBI single from Delmon Young before Peralta came up with his clutch hit.
Rick Porcello (4-4) gave up nine hits in five innings, but managed to earn his first victory since May 6 against the White Sox. The right-hander was 0-2 with a 5.17 ERA in his previous six starts.
The Cubs and Tigers exchanged two fielding gems in the seventh. Shortstop Starlin Castro made a diving stop on Cabrera's smash in the top half of the inning, but Boesch robbed David DeJesus of a hit in the bottom half.
Detroit center fielder Austin Jackson added a great catch against the wall in center to end the game.
NOTES: Tigers RHP Doug Fister (strained left side) threw a side session and "felt really good," according to manager Jim Leyland. ... Tigers OF Andy Dirks (right Achilles tendinitis) ran Tuesday, but Leyland said it didn't go well. "Dirks isn't ready. I don't know when we'll get Dirks back," he said. ... 1B Anthony Rizzo began the day with a .367 batting average, 22 homers and 57 RBIs for Triple-A Iowa, and Cubs manager Dale Sveum acknowledged he could be promoted soon. "The name is there and it's obviously getting built up to getting to that point where it's getting near now," Sveum said. Rizzo left Tuesday's game with a bruised right knee, but Sveum said he's fine. ... Verlander (5-4, 2.69 ERA) will face LHP Travis Wood (0-2, 4.71 ERA) in the series finale. Verlander pitched 5 2-3 innings of one-run ball in his only start at Wrigley Field, a 9-3 victory on June 17, 2006. He is hitless in 21 career at-bats with 13 strikeouts. Wood is searching for his first win since he recorded two outs for Cincinnati at Pittsburgh on Aug. 19.
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