By NOAH TRISTER AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) _ J.D. Martinez threw Jay Bruce out at the plate on the final play of the game, enabling the Detroit Tigers to hold on for a pulsating 6-5 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday night.
New York trailed 6-1 before rallying with two runs each in the fifth and seventh, and with men on first and second and two out in the ninth, Travis d’Arnaud poked a single into right field. Martinez charged the ball, and his one-hop throw home was in time to get Bruce .
Miguel Cabrera drove in three runs for the Tigers, who have won 10 of 11 and trail AL Central-leading Cleveland by two games.
Detroit’s Matt Boyd (3-2) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings, and New York’s Logan Verrett (3-7) yielded six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Martinez’s throw gave Francisco Rodriguez his 32nd save in 34 chances.
Bruce and Curtis Granderson homered for the Mets.
After Bruce’s fourth-inning homer tied the game at 1, the Tigers answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run single, and Ian Kinsler drove in another run with a single. Cabrera’s two-run single gave Detroit a five-run lead.
It was 6-3 in the seventh when Bruce came up with men on first and second and nobody out. Cabrera fielded his grounder and threw toward second, but the ball hit runner Neil Walker in the head and bounced toward center field. A run came home, and the Mets scored another when Wilmer Flores hit a grounder to third that Mike Aviles misplayed for an error.
With men on first and second and still nobody out, d’Arnaud grounded into a double play, and Detroit was able to get out of the inning up 6-5.
The Mets also hit into double plays in the sixth and the eighth.
Aviles came into the game in the fifth after Nick Castellanos left with a non-displaced fracture of his left hand. Castellanos was hit by a pitch during Detroit’s big fourth inning.
Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (Tommy John surgery) pitched an inning in his first rehab start with Class A St. Lucie.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-5) takes the mound Sunday as New York tries to avoid a three-game sweep.
Tigers: RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-11) starts for Detroit in the finale of this nine-game homestand.