Between the Detroit Tigers getting a nationally televised game, playing in Omaha the first ever MLB contest in Nebraska, an incredibly favorable pitching matchup and another Casey Mize Double-A start, every sign seemingly pointed to an enjoyable evening for the club.
It was not an enjoyable evening, as the Tigers lost 7-3.
After Matthew Boyd labored through a cumbersome first inning against the Kansas City Royals, ESPN experienced prolong technical difficulties for over two innings, showing live streams from various other games around the league. During the outage, the Royals scored two runs — one off a first-career home run from Nicky Lopez and one off a Boyd balk.
Once the broadcast returned, news broke via Twitter that Casey Mize had exited his start in Double-A Erie after throwing an 85 mph fastball, starting speculation that Tommy John surgery may be on the horizon. Early reports suggest that he is dealing with shoulder soreness, though.
From there, the Royals scored five runs between the fourth and sixth innings, extending their lead while Homer Bailey — who entered the game with a 5.90 ERA and 78 ERA+ — mowed down Detroit’s lineup with ease. Bailey allowed zero runs on two hits and three walks over six innings, striking out six.
The Tigers’ first two runs came from outs: an RBI groundout by Victor Reyes, who entered the game after JaCoby Jones took a pitch off his elbow, and a sacrifice fly from Harold Castro. Ronny Rodriguez singled in a run in the top of the ninth to complete Detroit’s scoring.
Detroit has entered the record books by playing in the first official Major League Baseball game at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., which is also known as the home of the annual College World Series.
Throwing 92 pitches in four innings, Thursday marks Boyd’s shortest start of the season while giving up four earned runs, tied for the most he has allowed this year.
With the rubber match loss, the Tigers have lost nine of 10 series since May 6.