PHOENIX (AP) — A rookie's mental mistake proved costly for the Arizona Diamondbacks in their 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Ender Inciarte, potentially the tying run, singled in the seventh but was picked off by catcher Bryan Holaday. David Peralta then walked and Aaron Hill singled.
But instead of Inciarte scoring the tying run, he was in the dugout lamenting his error.
"A big mistake," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.
Inciarte acknowledged as much.
"I messed up," Inciarte said. "I thought it was a 3-2 count. I was going to go and when I came back I thought I had a chance to get back to the bag but my foot got stuck in the ground. Either way I messed up. I should be aware of the situation."
Holaday said he had noticed that Inciarte was "pretty far off" first.
"He's a pretty fast guy," Holaday said, "but I noticed he didn't get back immediately. I made the throw after I saw that."
Detroit's Justin Verlander pitched into the seventh inning and said he felt the best he has all season. He credited some pictures of himself that he looked at "literally 10 minutes" before warming up.
Verlander said he "came across a couple of pictures," one from earlier in his career and one from this season. He was looking to see if he had changed his grip at all. Instead, he noticed a difference in his arm action and made an immediate adjustment when he warmed up in the bullpen.
"I went out and tried to throw the way that I used to throw," he said.
The results, Verlander said, were immediate and carried over into the game, when he held Arizona hitless through the first three innings.
"It felt like I was able to throw the way I want," he said. "Really, the first time all year that I've been able to locate my fastball as well as I would like to."
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