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Orioles 8, Tigers 2: Detroit moves closer to No. 1 pick in 2020 MLB draft

The Tigers now have a 4 1⁄2 game “lead” over Baltimore for next year’s top pick.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers moved closer to clinching the top pick in the 2020 MLB draft on Sunday, dropping an 8-2 decision at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Detroit now holds a 4 12 game lead over the Orioles for the top selection in next year’s draft with just 14 games remaining in the 2019 season.

I’m not going to dive too far into the play-by-play of this one. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jordy Mercer scored Harold Castro with an RBI double. After Baltimore tied the score in the top of the second, Grayson Greiner singled home Travis Demeritte in the bottom of the inning to give the Tigers a 2-1 advantage.

Simple math tells you what happened from there. Edwin Jackson finished with five earned runs allowed on seven hits in five innings of work. He struck out five and walked two, and now has a season-long ERA of 9.70. If we cared more about the in-game minutiae of this season, we would wonder why Jackson was allowed to start the sixth inning after already allowing four runs through five frames. But he did, and the Orioles scored two runs to effectively put this one out of reach.

Though they only scored two runs, the Tigers had some chances to put more runs on the board. They finished with 12 hits on the day, the same as the Orioles, but went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Mercer and Demeritte had the only extra-base hits, both doubles.

The Tigers still have one more game remaining against the Orioles, a random Monday afternoon tilt at 1:10 p.m. tomorrow. Detroit’s “magic number” to clinch the No. 1 pick is now 10, and could move as low as eight (with 13 games to play) if the Orioles win Monday’s series finale.

Statistical stuff of note

  • Harold Castro had three hits in the game. His season-long average is now up to .305. He also has a .719 OPS. Unfortunately, this is only good enough for an 87 wRC+ through 333 plate appearances in 2019.
  • Grayson Greiner also had three hits, including the aforementioned RBI single. It was his fourth three-hit game of his MLB career, and third since September 1.
  • Matt Hall allowed two runs in 1 23 innings of work. He walked three batters and struck out two.
  • Gregory Soto did not allow a run in 1 13 innings.