Normally there is no greater treat on Labor Day than to sit down and enjoy some baseball. Unfortunately the Detroit Tigers did little to rebound from their terrible weekend series against the Cleveland Indians in their first of three against the Kansas City Royals today.
The Royals had their own worth to prove, following a terrible series against the Minnesota Twins. Since the Royals still technically have a shot at the wild card slot, however slim, they need wins in a bad way, and Detroit provided one today.
Now, this isn’t to say the Tigers aren’t trying. It’s obvious the players still want to take these games, and they’re making the effort, but the combined results are lackluster at best, especially considering how depleted the team’s starting pitching rotation has become after injuries and trades.
Artie Lewicki made his major league debut today — something Tigers fans are hearing a lot of lately — and the results were suboptimal. He gave up five runs on five hits, including one home run, walked a batter, and collected only one strike out. Warwick Saupold was effective in one inning of relief, before Daniel Stumpf came in and gave up another run.
Offensively, the new kids were the ones collecting most of the hits today, with three hits for Alex Presley and Jeimer Candelario. Andrew Romine and Jose Iglesias also collected two hits apiece. Presley and Romine both collected RBIs for their efforts, as did Nicholas Castellanos.
In spite of the early lead given up by Lewicki, the Tigers battled throughout the game, never letting the Royals maintain a runaway victory. However they failed to make use of a lot of walks yielded by Royals pitching.
Tigers have drawn four walks in the last two innings -- one more than they had in the four Indians' losses. Not a one of them have scored.— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) September 4, 2017
Fun fact: Going into this game the Tigers had the same at home record as the Royals away record both were 31-36 for the season.
Another fun fact has to do with the land down under.
Aussies Warwick Saupold (Tigers) and Peter Moylan (Royals) both pitch scoreless inning in 6th. Royals up 5-3 heading to 7th. pic.twitter.com/XhQRazV5ce— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) September 4, 2017
Drew VerHagen came on in the eighth and gave up a home run to Alcides Escobar. The bullpen appears to be running on fumes. Stinky, stinky fumes.
Blaine Hardy came on top pitch the ninth inning. He made it through unscathed with two strikeouts and only one hit.
Castellanos managed to hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, bringing the score to 7-6, and the Tigers within one run of tying the game.
Nicholas Castellanos delivers Tigers' first HR since last Wednesday at Colorado. Three-run drive off Brandon Maurer makes it a 7-6 game.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) September 4, 2017
Brandon Maurer of the Royals gave up five hits in the bottom of the ninth, ample opportunity for the Tigers to make a push. He was relieved by lefty Scott Alexander, a strange choice given batter Mikie Mahtook’s history against left-handed pitching. Alas, Alexander collected the final out.
The Tigers extended their losing streak to five.