DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers applied pressure to Milwaukee Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff in the fifth inning, beginning with Harold Castro's leadoff single. On the next pitch, Willi Castro dropped a surprising bunt and legged out a single.
A shocked Kolten Wong — playing second for the Brewers — rushed his attempt to eliminate Willi Castro and was charged with a throwing error. His mistake put runners on the corners for Dustin Garneau, who executed a sacrifice fly to left field for a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers didn't look back, surging to a 4-1 victory against the National League Central-leading Brewers in Wednesday's series finale at Comerica Park. The Tigers (70-76) swept the series against MLB's fourth-best team, improving to 61-52 since May 8 and 30-25 since the All-Star break.
Detroit has won five of its past six games.
Taking the lead gave the Tigers momentum, but they weren't done in the fifth. Derek Hill — who delivered a walk-off double in Tuesday's 1-0 victory in extra innings — tripled to the left-center gap on a 3-1 fastball, plating Willi Castro for a 3-1 advantage.
Right-hander Matt Manning eased the Tigers through six innings, in the best outing of his 15-game MLB career. He allowed one run on two hits and three walks. He struck out six and fired 62 of 98 pitches for strikes.
From that point forward, the contest turned into a bullpen battle.
And just as in Tuesday's win, the Tigers didn't crumble.
Manager AJ Hinch stole Round 1, as Alex Lange confused the Brewers with his elite curveball for a perfect seventh frame. In the bottom half, Milwaukee called on Jake Cousins. With two outs, Garneau smacked a solo home run to left field for a 4-1 lead.
For the eighth, Michael Fulmer tossed a perfect eighth. The Brewers countered with ex-Tiger Daniel Norris, who was shipped away at this year's trade deadline for a pitching prospect. He recorded one out before Jandel Gustave entered to face Miguel Cabrera with two runners on. Cabrera grounded into an inning-ending double play.