A day after squandering Tarik Skubal’s most impressive start of the year, the Tigers desperately needed a win.
Coming into today’s game, the Tigers sat three games back of the 8-seeded Blue Jays. Their offense struggled in the first 23 innings of the series, scoring just a combined five runs, but on Sunday, the ballclub finally found its groove.
Detroit led early, scoring one run in the second and one in the third, but that lead was short-lived.
Mize allowed two in the 3rd, and the duo of Mize and Rony Garcia allowed four runs in the 5th.
All hope and momentum seemed to disappear at that point, given the insufficient offense of late combined with the recent unsatisfactory bullpen performances, but the Tigers refused to surrender.
They posted three in the 6th, two in the 7th, and three in the 8th to pull out a much-needed victory against the rival Twins.
A Group Effort
After offensive woes doomed the Tigers in the first three games of the series, the entire lineup contributed in the 17-hit drubbing versus the Twin Pitchers.
Every starter chalked up at least one hit on the scorecard, and 7 of 9 starters bagged two or more hits.
Big man Miguel Cabrera continued his tear today, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. He snagged two singles, one of which drove in the 10th and final run for the Tigers in the 8th inning.
Victor Reyes, Willi Castro, and Jeimer Candelario all continue to impress this season by attacking pitchers early all game long.
Reyes singled twice, bumping his average up to .318, Castro bombed one to right-center in the 5th for a two-run shot and later seized another RBI in the 7th, tying the game at 7.
Candelario’s decimation of the ball continued, securing his 13th multi-hit game of the season, coming a long way from starting 0 for 17 in July to start the season.
An At-Bat He’ll Never Forget
Finally earning the call to the big leagues just a couple days prior, 24-year old Sergio Alcantara made his Major League debut one to remember.
Filling in for Goodrum, who recently hit the 10-day IL, Alcantara received the invite as extra infield depth for the near future.
A seven-year minor league veteran, Alcantara’s name doesn’t come to mind when you think power. The Dominican Republic native compiled just nine home runs in over 2,200 at-bats, so nobody would have expected what happened when he took his first steps into an MLB batter’s box on Sunday.
Alcantara smoked an 87 mph fastball from Rich Hill to left field for the first Major League hit and home run of his big-league career. Alcantara brought a big grin on his face along with a 2-0 nothing lead into the visitor’s dugout.
A Consistent Mize
Early on, it looked as if Casey Mize would follow up fellow rookie Tarik Skubal’s remarkable performance with a gem of his own.
Mize cruised through the first, delivering just nine pitches, but a 22-pitch 1-2-3 inning in the second, which included a 10-pitch strikeout of LaMonte Wade, would foreshadow the rest of his outing.
The Twins’ 7-8-9 hitters performed like 1-2-3 hitters to begin the third. Jake Cave walked, Ehire Adrianza demolished a pitch to right-center, and Willians Astudillo completed the job with a screaming line drive past Mize’s head to drive in two.
Staying relatively clean afterward, Mize’s pitch count totaled 82 after four. Surprisingly, Mize trotted back out for the 5th, with his highest pitch count in a game to date.
Unfortunately, we saw him stroll right back into the dugout after just one pitch to Jorge Polanco, who smoked it into right field and eventually came around to score.
Mize’s start looked much like his last three, this time going four innings, allowing three runs on five hits. Although the 23-year old still has not performed up to his standards overall, his strong presence and reserved demeanor on the mound give fans great optimism about the young man’s future.