Nicholas Castellanos is racking up hits at a remarkable rate, and the Detroit Tigers needed them in a slugfest Wednesday night.
Castellanos had four hits and a key home run, and the Tigers used 20 hits to outslug the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-10 in the opener of a doubleheader.
The teams combined for 34 hits, including four from Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera and three from Jeimer Candelario.
Castellanos was coming off consecutive three-hit games against Kansas City. He’s 10 for 15 with two homers and nine RBI in Detroit’s last three games, and he’s batting .337 for the season.
“He had a good day. Put some really nice swings out there,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Miggy, same thing. A really good day.”
Detroit added an insurance run in the ninth on a throwing error by Cervelli, the catcher, on Niko Goodrum’s tapper in front between the pitcher’s mound and home plate.
Castellanos’ two-run shot off Kyle Crick capped a five-run fourth inning and gave the Tigers an 8-6 lead. McCann led off with his homer and Cabrera hit a two-run double in the frame.
Cervelli’s single got the Pirates within 8-7 in the fifth.
However, Candelario countered with a leadoff home run in the sixth and the Tigers scored three times in the eighth to make it 12-7.
“It wasn’t one of those easy games,” Gardenhire said. “We had to finagle our way through it. Kept swinging the bats and so did they. Both teams got after it pretty good. Fortunately for us, we finally shut them down at the end. But the ball was flying all over the place, I know that.”
The play was not reviewed, and James went on to hit a buzzer-beating 3 that gave the Cleveland Cavaliers a 98-95 victory and a 3-2 series lead.
After the game, Oladipo said goaltending should have been called. That would have given Indiana a two-point lead with seconds remaining.
“I got a step on him. Felt like I even got grabbed on the way to the rim,” Oladipo said. “I tried to shoot a layup, it hit the backboard, then he blocked it. … It was a goaltend. It’s hard to even speak on it. It just sucks, honestly. It really sucks. We fought our way back, we tied the game up, that layup is huge.”
Joe Borgia, the NBA’s senior vice president of replay and referee operations, told NBA TV on Wednesday night that the play was not reviewable because goaltending was not called on the court.
“In super-slow motion, you just see the ball hit the glass and maybe come off an inch, and that’s when LeBron got it,” Borgia said. “Like I said, once the ball touches the [backboard], defenders cannot touch it, and unfortunately James did.”