The Rangers went into today’s game on a 10-game winning streak. They would not make it to 11. Whether it was the en fuego offense, racking up three home runs before the end of the first inning, or the defense, including two sensational pop-up catches from James McCann, the Tigers were unstoppable. Even home plate umpire Mike Everitt told McCann, “You got a highlight reel in one night.”
It might have been a chilly night in Detroit — something the Fox announcers couldn’t stop talking about -- but the Tigers kept their fans warm by starting an absolute fire offensively.
Top of the order - Like Oprah handing out cars, the top five in the order were handing out home runs and hits freely to start the game. Alex Avila started things off in the first with his fifth home run of the season, and not wanting to be outdone, Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez each followed up with solo moonshots of their own. An RBI for Cabrera in the third scored Kinsler, then Nicholas Castellanos decided not to be outdone and bashed in a three-run home run of his own.
Avila, not content to stop there, got two more RBIs on a double off the outfield wall.
Justin Verlander - mid-to-high-90s fastballs, quick hands, this was the Verlander fans were hoping to see tonight, and he delivered. He kept his pitch count low, was focused and in control. Things got a little shaky in the fourth, but Verlander regained his composure like a pro. By the sixth it was clear the rising pitch count was starting to wear on him, with a home run to Jonathan Lucroy and a hit-by-pitch to Rougned Odor. Ultimately, though, he’d end the game with only three runs on four hits to mar his record.
Not in terms of play, but Kinsler left in the top of the fifth as a precaution, and was replaced by Andrew Romine. Kinsler was experiencing hamstring tightness, so rather than risk injury, he was pulled. Romine then very nearly collided with J.D. Martinez in the sixth during a routine catch.
STREAKS & INFO:
The Tigers have hit back-to-back-to-back home runs for the first time since 6/1/13 at Baltimore (V. Martinez/Peralta/Avila).— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) May 20, 2017
Ivan Rodriguez throws first pitch to Alex Avila, who received a catching mitt from Pudge years ago after converting to catcher at Alabama.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 20, 2017
Miguel Cabrera’s first inning home run went right over the outfield sign for his new Bitbits candy. Nice advertising, Miggy.