Brayan Pena knew the collision was coming. All that mattered was keeping grasp of the ball.
“It doesn’t matter where your body is going to go, just hold onto the baseball,” he said.
Pena, Detroit’s catcher, held onto Prince Fielder’s relay throw and absorbed a collision with Justin Smoak at home plate for the final out, and the Tigers outlasted the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in 14 innings Wednesday night.
Smoak singled with one out off Joaquin Benoit, and with two outs Dustin Ackley doubled into the right-field corner. Third base coach Jeff Datz didn’t hesitate in waving Smoak around with the potential tying run.
Torii Hunter started the relay from the outfield, and Fielder’s throw was up the third base line a bit. Pena, however, caught it in plenty of time and held onto the ball as Smoak crashed into him, sending a mask and helmet flying.
Lying face down in the dirt, Pena held up the ball in his bare hand to show plate umpire Bob Davidson and shook his fist in triumph before teammates helped him up.
“I got dizzy,” Pena said. “I think he hit me in the chin as he was running toward me. I wanted (the umpire) to see it because I don’t know his view.”
The collision at the plate concluded a wild night when both starting pitchers, Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer, were at the top of their games and the teams combined for a whopping 40 strikeouts.
Pena came through twice in the 14th inning for the Tigers. It was his bases-loaded grounder that allowed Don Kelly to score the go-ahead run in the top of the inning and it was his defensive gem that finally sent everyone home after 4 hours, 27 minutes.
“Nobody deserved to lose in a game like this,” Pena said.
RED SOX 6, INDIANS 3: Converted closer Alfredo Aceves coasted through five innings, Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava drove in two runs apiece and Boston scored its fifth straight win. Aceves (1-0), who began the season in Boston’s bullpen, took a shutout into the sixth before giving up three runs. Napoli had an RBI single in the first when the Red Sox scored three runs off Masterson (3-1), who has already beaten two Cy Young Award winners this season and came in without allowing a run in 19 straight innings.
RAYS 6, ORIOLES 2: Kelly Johnson and Shelley Duncan homered, James Loney had three RBIs and Tampa Bay beat Baltimore to snap a four-game skid. Matt Moore (3-0) gave up two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. Although his streak of scoreless starts ended at two, the left-hander has accounted for three of the Rays’ five wins this season. After going 1-for-34 with runners in scoring position in their previous five games, the Rays went 4-for-11 Wednesday.
ATHLETICS 7, ASTROS 5: Bartolo Colon pitched six crisp innings, Josh Reddick doubled in two runs during a six-run first and Oakland defeated Houston to complete another three-game sweep. The Athletics swept a three-game series at Houston during the first week of the season. Seth Smith had three hits for the A’s, who improved to an AL-best 12-4. They sent 11 batters to the plate and chased Bud Norris (2-2) in the first inning, then won behind Colon (2-0) and three relievers.
WHITE SOX 7, BLUE JAYS 0: Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer and Jose Quintana pitched 6 2-3 sharp innings to lead Chicago over Toronto. Alex Rios also homered against his former team to back Quintana (1-0), who held the Blue Jays to five hits with two walks while striking out seven in his third start of the season. Toronto’s J.A. Happ (2-1) allowed six hits, including two homers, and five runs in 5 2-3 innings.
YANKEES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 3: Pinch-hitter Travis Hafner connected for a tiebreaking homer with two outs in the eighth inning to lead CC Sabathia and the Yankees past Arizona. Brett Gardner had a tying, two-run single in the seventh for New York. Sabathia (3-1) gave up a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the first, then settled down for his third straight win after struggling on opening day.
ROYALS 1, BRAVES 0: Wade Davis pitched seven sharp innings, Jeff Francoeur had an RBI single and Kansas City stopped Atlanta’s 10-game winning streak. The Braves were seeking their first 13-1 start since 1994. But the Atlanta hitters — who homered five times off the Royals on Tuesday — were shut down. Davis (2-0) gave up five hits, didn’t walk anyone and struck out seven.
PADRES 7, DODGERS 2: Clayton Kershaw gave up his first three home runs of the season in a span of three innings and San Diego finished a three-game sweep of Los Angeles. Everth Cabrera, Chris Denorfia and Kyle Blanks all connected off Kershaw (2-2), who entered with a 1.16 ERA in three starts. But the 2011 NL Cy Young winner left this one trailing 5-1 after throwing 109 pitches in 5 1-3 innings.
NATIONALS 6, MARLINS 1: Ross Detwiler departed with a lead for the third start in a row and this time the bullpen held on as Bryce Harper and Washington beat Miami. Harper hiked his average to .364 with four hits and improved to 9-for-20 against Ricky Nolasco (0-2). Harper hit two solo homers off Nolasco on opening day. Detwiler (1-0) allowed one run in seven innings, which increased his ERA to 0.90. He left his first two starts with the Nationals ahead 5-1 and 4-1, but both times received no decision.
BREWERS 4, GIANTS 3: Pinch-hitter Blake Lalli lifted a long single in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent Milwaukee over San Francisco. Milwaukee extended its longest winning streak this year to three. Brewers starter Kyle Lohse did not allow a hit through the first five innings as Milwaukee built a 3-0 lead. Jim Henderson (2-0) pitched the ninth.
REDS 1-11, PHILLIES 0-2: Jay Bruce hit a pair of bases-loaded singles that sent Cincinnati to a pair of wins over Philadelphia. First, the Reds finished their game suspended overnight by rain. Several hundred fans were in the stands to see Phillippe Aumont (1-2) pick the game up in the bottom of the ninth and give up Bruce’s bases-loaded single only four batters later. Aroldis Chapman (2-0) got the win without even warming up on Wednesday — he’d retired the last three batters before the rain came the previous night. Punxsutawney native Devin Mesoraco went 2-for-4 with a double in the second game.