Three game win streak? Three game win streak.
The Tigers’ victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday should go down as one of their best all-around performances of the season. The offense scored their fourth-most runs in a game, and the six-run win margin is their second-highest so far in 2019.
Niko Goodrum, who grew up 30 minutes away from Atlanta and had seemingly a whole section’s worth of friends and family in attendance, had the best game of his career, hitting two home-runs — one of which nearly left the stadium — to go with two singles and a double. It was his first career five-hit game as well as second career two-homer game. He was also the first Tiger to go 5-for-5 with two home runs and three extra base hits in a game since Dmitri Young did it in May 2008.
Rookie righthander Spencer Turnbull also turned in a quality performance, going six-plus innings while giving up two runs on five hits and one walk. The youngster out-dueled the Atlanta veteran Mike Foltynewicz, who was rocked early and often by Tiger hitters.
After Turnbull navigated early trouble, Grayson Greiner helped his pitcher out with some run support, hitting a near-400 foot shot to secure an early lead off of Foltynewicz.
Goodrum hit the first of his two bombs the next inning.
Goodrum became the king of his homecoming in the fifth when collected his third hit of the game, scoring JaCoby Jones who had tripled two at-bats beforehand.
The offense did not stop there, as Nicholas Castellanos hit his sixth home run of the season, extending the Tigers’ lead to four.
As if Goodrum’s three hits were not enough already, he led off the seventh inning with a hustled-out double and was scored by a Christin Stewart single. From there, Castellanos and Brandon Dixon kept the line moving with singles to push the lead to 7-1.
Meanwhile, Turnbull dominated Atlanta’s lineup with no single-inning pitch count topping 17. However, after the seventh-inning stretch, he allowed two singles and walked Austin Riley to load the bases with nobody out and was forced to give way to Buck Farmer. Fortunately, the damage was limited to a sacrifice fly to keep the rookie in line for a win.
By the way, remember Niko Goodrum? He collected his fifth hit of the night with a second home run of the evening in the eighth.
Offense wins games, which probably explains why the Tigers were 11 games under .500 heading into Friday night. They had only scored more than five runs in a contest five times in 2019 before thumping the Braves. They collected 11 hits, with four home runs and two doubles, to go with their eight runs — all without a designated hitter.
While they can not count on Goodrum (or anybody) to go off for five hits and two home runs on any given night, it shows that they are capable of beating top-tier teams with their bats.
Jeimer Candelario went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, remaining hitless in his return from Toledo.
Miguel Cabrera left the game in the sixth inning with right knee soreness and is listed as day-to-day.
Who was the Tigers player of the game?
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Niko Goodrum again