One would not be wrong to assume that the Detroit Tigers’ league-bottom offense squaring off for a whole nine innings against the Minnesota Twins’ best-in-baseball offense would make for a disastrous mid-afternoon bout in the Motor City.
Or would they?
The ensemble effort for the Tigers pitchers held the dynamic offense to a reasonable three runs and helped pave the way a Detroit victory. We’re as surprised as you are.
Things started rough and doomsday appeared imminent when Buck Farmer made his first “start” of the season on Saturday for the Detroit Tigers and walked Max Kepler before allowing a Jorge Polanco RBI double in the next at-bat.
From there, it was all Tigers as Farmer struck out the next three batters.
JaCoby Jones kicked the offense into gear with a three-run home run in the bottom of the second following a two-out single from Gordon Beckham and a walk to Grayson Greiner, giving the Tigers a lead that would stick.
Minnesota cut the Tigers’ lead to one the next inning, but Christin Stewart put the first-place Twins back at an arms length with his fifth home run of the season.
Meanwhile, the Detroit bullpen pitchers actually combined to put forth a quality effort. Despite the first inning jam, Farmer struck out four batters over two innings, allowing two hits and a run. Nick Ramirez was shaky but still pitched three innings of one-run ball. From there, Victor Alcantara spun two clean innings.
The eighth inning got off to an explosive start when Blaine Hardy allowed a Nelson Cruz home run which Christin Stewart did not even move for and, suddenly, what had become a two-run lead did not feel safe.
Hardy managed to navigate the next three batters... then the Tigers’ hottest hitter rendered the Cruz home run irrelevant.
A hit parade plated two more runs before Shane Greene locked down the bottom of the ninth.
Oh, man. JaCoby Jones has been fun to watch lately. With a three-hit, two-homer game, the center fielder is hitting .354 with six home runs and 16 RBI since May 12, raising his 2019 batting average from .155 to .250 in the stretch.
Nicholas Castellanos went one-for-five with four strikeouts and four runners left on base, further lowering his already sketchy trade value and offseason signability.
Grayson Greiner was oh-for-three with two Ks and has gone nine-for-75 since May 3.
Who was the Tigers’ player of the game?
This poll is closed
The guy the Tigers got for Joakim Soria
Detroit’s nine hitter