Tonight was Bark at the Park at Comerica Park. Thankfully, Nicholas Castellanos and the Tigers’ bats were more bite than bark tonight, as they defeated the Chicago White Sox, 9-5. The Tigers are now 9-1 against the White Sox in 2018.
Let’s make this clear: tonight was the Nicholas Castellanos Show. He singled in the first inning, launched a double in the fourth inning and scored a run, contributed a second double in the fifth inning which knocked in a run to give the team a 4-3 lead, and launched a 406-foot two-run homer in the seventh inning to give the team a 6-4 team after Drew VerHagen surrendered the previous lead. In the eighth, with a chance for the cycle, Nicholas settled for a single to finish with a five-hit night and five RBI.
This one started slowly, as neither team scored in the first two innings. The White Sox had a scoring threat in the first inning, as Tigers starter Artie Lewicki gave up a double to Yolmer Sanchez with only one out. It ended quickly, however, as he was promptly thrown out trying to steal third base by James McCann. In the next inning, Lewicki issued back-to-back walks to Avisail Garcia and Omar Navaez, but he wiggled out of that jam, as well. The White Sox caught up in the third inning to Lewicki, however, as Adam Engel doubled to open the frame before Lewicki hit Nicky Delmonico with a pitch. Despite an injury delay, Delmonico stayed in the game. Yolmer Sanchez then singled to load the bases, and Jose Abreu hit a sacrifice fly to open the scoring. From there, Daniel Palka singled in Delmonico, and Garcia knocked in Sanchez on a sacrifice fly. Three innings, three runs for the White Sox.
The Tigers came back, however, as they slowly came back and ultimately took the lead over the next three innings against White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez. A James McCann single led to a run in the third as a wild pitch moved him to second and a Victor Reyes ground-out moved him to third to set up a Jeimer Candelario sacrifice fly. In the fourth inning, Nicholas Castellanos and Victor Martinez both doubled to cut the lead to one. In the fifth inning, the Tigers scored two to gain their first lead of the game. Sure, Jose Iglesias grounded into a double play after James McCann, Victor Reyes, and Jeimer Candelario all got on base, but hey, at least they scored a second run on a second Castellanos double.
That lead did not hold long whatsoever, unfortunately, but the team — or should I say Nicholas Castellanos — roared back in the seventh. Drew VerHagen had entered the game for the final out of the fifth, and as soon as the team had taken the lead, he allowed a solo home run to Omar Navarez. Castellanos really wanted this one, however, so he launched his 17th home run of the year to left center field after Jeimer Candelario reached on a walk to give the team a 6-4 lead.
Of course, the lead was immediately put in danger, as Alex Wilson allowed only his second home run since April to Adam Engel. Thankfully, it was only a solo home run, so the lead was cut to 6-5 instead of being lost entirely. The home run ultimately did not matter whatsoever, as the Tigers pounced for four more runs in the eighth. James McCann and Victor Reyes combined for one run with a double and single, respectively, then Jeimer Candelario received an intentional walk and Jose Iglesias drew an unintentional walk to set Nicholas Castellanos up for a fifth hit and fifth run batted in. Have yourself a night, Nick.
One last night: Victor Alcantara entered in the ninth inning with the lowest strike percentage of any Tigers pitcher with over 10 innings pitched. He struck out the side, striking out each batter with a different pitch (changeup, slider, and sinker in that order). All in all, tonight was a howling good time at the ballpark.
Tweet of the Game
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
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Why, it was Nicholas Castellanos.
Do you enjoy Bark at the Park?
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Yes, I like good boys.
No, I am not a dog person.
I couldn’t care less.