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Cubs 5, Tigers 1: Offense, defense let Detroit down in loss

Several little mistakes added up in Sunday’s loss.

Chicago Cubs v Detroit Tigers Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers whiffed on a chance to win another series at home on Sunday, dropping their series finale to the Chicago Cubs by a 5-1 score. Matthew Boyd wasn’t at his best, and his defense didn’t do him any favors as he was saddled with his fourth loss of the year.

I’m not really sure how to describe this game. As mentioned, Boyd wasn’t his sharpest, but the Cubs offense (other than No. 9 hitter Ian Happ) didn’t hit him all that hard either. A Happ single and a walk put two runners on base for them in the third, but their first run of the game only scored when Kris Bryant was able to beat out a potential double play ball, then Jonathan Schoop’s throw home to nab Happ sailed over catcher Eric Haase’s head.

The Tigers defense cost Boyd again in the fourth when Harold Castro committed a throwing error on a routine ground ball to third. The miscue came with two outs, and Happ made the Tigers pay with a flare to center field that scored Matt Duffy, making it 2-0 Cubs.

The Cubs put the game away in the sixth with three more runs. Matt Duffy reached on a line drive that Niko Goodrum had a play on, but couldn’t field cleanly. David Bote followed with a double that just barely landed fair down the left field line, scoring Duffy. A sacrifice fly later in the inning brought Bote in to score, and Happ followed with an opposite field home run to make it 5-0.

It might as well have been 50-0 by that point, because the Tigers offense was flummoxed by Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. They racked up eight hits against the soft-tossing righthander, but no Tiger reached third base until the ninth inning, when they had to beat out a pair of potential double play balls just to plate their lone run of the game. Meanwhile, Hendricks struck out eight while walking just one, and didn’t hit the 100-pitch mark until he took the mound in the ninth.

The Tigers are back in action on Monday, when they head out west to face the Seattle Mariners. Alex Lange, who tossed a scoreless inning in relief on Sunday, was optioned to the minors after the game.

Notes from the game:

  • Harold Castro added two hits, bringing his batting average up to .295 for the year. His OPS is still only .634, which is really hard to do when you’re hitting close to .300.
  • Lange wasn’t the only reliever to work a clean inning. Bryan Garcia worked around a pair of hits for a scoreless frame, and struck out two Cubs along the way. Joe Jimenez also logged a much-needed clean inning, with a hit and a strikeout.
  • Miguel Cabrera collected two hits, bringing his career total to 2,883. He is now 117 hits away from 3,000.