DETROIT -- Jhonny Peralta had the Tigers' lone hit with runners in scoring position on Saturday, and it resulted in Detroit's only two runs. But in the process, he also might have run the Tigers out of a bigger rally.
With his eighth-inning flare to right field, Peralta not only drove in the first runs off Pedro Strop since July 3, he turned what had been a 3-0 shutout bid into a one-run game. When he kept on going to second as right fielder Nick Markakis threw home, however, he became an easy target for first baseman Mark Reynolds, who cut off the throw and got Peralta caught up in a rundown.
"I thought the ball was going home," Peralta said. "I knew it was going to be a close play at home plate and everything, so I tried to make it to second base."
It wasn't something the Tigers were trying to push.
"Really, the general rule of thumb there is if the ball is low, you can't go, because it's a ball that can be cut," manager Jim Leyland said after Saturday's game. "If the guy air mails it and throws it high, then you go on to second. It was probably just a mistake in judgment on Jhonny's part, to be honest with you."
Asked about the philosophy of taking the extra base and sacrificing the out to make sure a run scores, Leyland said, "I think that's one of the most -- not in this particular case, I'm just talking in general -- one of the most misunderstood plays in baseball.
"When there's a confusion there, whether they're going to throw the guy out at home or not, years ago they thought, 'If you think they're going to throw him out at home, keep going.' I don't believe in that. You can't do that. You've gotta go by the way the ball's thrown."
According to STATS Inc., the Tigers have made 38 outs trying to take an extra base, third-highest among AL teams behind the Angels (42) and Rays (39) heading into play on Sunday.