The first half of tonight’s game felt like an extension of last night’s flop. Then the bats picked up and the pitching stiffened. Somehow, this absurd roster of players pulled it together to beat the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Better yet, with the victory tonight, the Reds have won 10 of their last 18 games.

Reds 5, Tigers 2 | FanGraphs Stuff | Astros’ Ground Control database

Michael Lorenzen worked gingerly through the potent Tigers lineup, giving up only one earned run in six innings. He walked three (one intentional) and struck out one. Lorenzen’s fastball velocity was 93-95. His breaking ball had good movement. He threw it as a first pitch a lot. His change up kept the Tigers off balance. At times, Lorenzen seemed like he didn’t want to challenge the Tigers hitters and consequently pitched from behind. He gave up a few hard-hit balls in the first inning, but most of the Tigers hits over six innings were ground balls in the hole or soft fly balls.

Lorenzen (23) is gaining valuable experience – pitching in Detroit against the Tigers is a good example – and offering plenty reason for encouragement, despite his lack of strikeouts. The raw stuff is there. Keep in mind how he has rocketed through the Reds system, drafted in 2013. Michael Lorenzen has been a starting pitcher for less than two years. His ups and downs will pay off next year when Lorenzen becomes a key part of the starting rotation.

Back-to-back home runs by Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce in the top of the fifth inning seemed to fire up the Reds. Those were the first runs the team had scored in 18 innings. Frazier’s shot was a blast to left center, his 19th of the year. Bruce’s ball just slipped over the fence by the right field foul pole. It was Bruce’s 10th of the year, he’s on pace for 26. Bruce also singled and walked, scoring a second run.

Frazier then hit his 20th home run in the top of the seventh, putting the Reds ahead 3-2. He’s on pace to hit 51 homers. He made a nice defensive play on a bunt in the fifth inning, nailing Jose Iglesias who had dropped down an excellent bunt.

 

Billy Hamilton drove in Jay Bruce with the Reds fourth run on a soft, two-out single in the seventh. Comerica Park has a huge outfield. Hamilton caught two balls tonight where it seemed like he ran for 15 seconds. Brandon Phillips had two hits.

Gadget Man Kristopher Negron, who has spent parts of nine years in the minor leagues, played his natural position, shortstop, tonight and made several great plays in the field, including two in the sixth inning.

Ryan Mattheus, who has spent parts of ten years in the minor leagues, pitched a clean 7th inning. He’s shut out the opponents in 10 of his last 11 appearances.

James Allen Hoover retired the heart of the Tigers order 1-2-3 in the 8th inning. Hoover hasn’t allowed an earned run in the past 25 appearances, dating back to April 21. The Reds next closer hasn’t allowed home run all year. Aroldis Chapman came in for another nail-biting three-run save.

Ivan De Jesus, who has spent parts of ten years in the minor leagues and who is an infielder playing the outfield, committed a two-base error in the fifth inning on a fairly routine fly ball. It cost the Reds a run.