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Athletics 17, Tigers 3: Dawel Lugo saves the day

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Al Avila, you’ve done it again.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday at Comerica Park, Dawel Lugo hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning. If only the Tigers could have put in Matthew Stafford to finish the fourth quarter comeback, they might have snapped their losing streak. Detroit lost by two touchdowns against the Oakland Athletics, 17-3.

Where did it all go wrong, you may ask? Well, everything went wrong at practically every point imaginable in this game. If you want details, let me say this; Spencer Turnbull allowed six runs today, with only one of those runs being earned. This occurred because Turnbull notched two outs and Niko Goodrum made a throwing error before Jurickson Profar hit a grand slam in the third inning. At the point, the game was practically over. It didn’t help Detroit’s cause that Athletics pitcher Chris Bassitt pitched eight innings of shutout ball, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out seven.

But wait, there’s more! Blaine Hardy allowed three runs across two innings, Reed Garrett managed to allow four runs in a single inning, Victor Alcántara allowed two runs in one inning, and — wait for it — super-utility man Brandon Dixon allowed two runs in one inning! That’s right: Brandon Dixon was the best Tigers reliever today (the tiebreaker being that he allowed one fewer hit than Alcántara). So, there’s that.

After Dixon walked off the mound in the top of the ninth inning, things were looking especially grim. as Jason Beck pointed out on Twitter:

Luckily (or unfortunately, if you’re a sadist), Dawel Lugo came to the rescue, slamming a three-run home run off of Aaron Brooks in the bottom of the ninth. Redemption for the Tigers! Unfortunately, Rally Goose was not flying around the ballpark today, and Grayson Greiner struck out on three pitches to end the game immediately after Lugo’s three-run shot.

If you would like three takeaways from today’s game, let me offer you these.

  • The Tigers are now 18-24, but their Pythagorean win/loss record is a staggering 13-29 due to their -81 run differential (143 runs scored, 224 runs allowed).
  • That Pythagorean win/loss record would have been 12-30 if it weren’t for Dawel Lugo.
  • Ronny Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a triple and now has a 1.008 OPS! If only the Tigers had nine of him (or maybe eight, now that they have Dawel Lugo and his 1.250 OPS).

The Good

Spencer Turnbull still has a 2.40 ERA.

The Bad

The Tigers have now dropped 13 straight games to the A’s. So much for that rivalry they had going from 2012 to 2014.

The Ugly