Here’s a not-so-fun fact: the Detroit Tigers have only won five games in September. However, there’s a fun part to that fact; of the Tigers’ five wins, two have come against Marcus Stroman and Danny Duffy, two of the best young starters in baseball.
Detroit’s win over Danny Duffy came on Thursday evening in their final matchup with the Kansas City Royals this season. The Tigers came away 4-1 winners thanks to a four-run fifth inning that ended Duffy’s evening. JaCoby Jones kicked off the scoring with an RBI single, and Nicholas Castellanos delivered the big blow with a bases-loaded three-run double.
The Royals pulled a run closer on a Paolo Orlando solo home run in the sixth, but could not get much going against an otherwise spectacular effort from the Tigers pitching staff. Daniel Norris shrugged off a minor injury scare to pitch five solid innings, allowing just two hits. He was efficient as well, throwing just 54 pitches. Warwick Saupold allowed the aforementioned home run, but Daniel Stumpf, Drew VerHagen, and Shane Greene combined to throw three scoreless innings while allowing just two hits.
The win snapped a nine-game losing streak, Detroit’s longest of the season. It was Detroit’s 63rd of the season, and guaranteed that they cannot finish the year with 100 losses.
Nicholas Castellanos: After his bases clearing double, Castellanos now has 99 RBI on the season.
Daniel Norris: Norris only notched one strikeout in five innings, but did not walk a batter and was otherwise very efficient in a solid outing.
The bullpen: Hey, we don’t get to say this one often.
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The White Sox also won on Thursday, leaving them three games ahead of Detroit in the AL Central standings with three games to play. If the Tigers lose one more game, they are guaranteed a top-3 pick in next year’s MLB draft.
The Phillies were off on Thursday. They are 64-95 on the year, one game better than Detroit. As of Friday morning, the Tigers would have the No. 2 pick in next year’s MLB draft. The San Francisco Giants are one game clear of Detroit at 62-97. They host the San Diego Padres over the weekend.