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Javier Báez cracked his first home run as a Tiger, and it was a big one

The Tigers’ offense needed that after a strong day of pitching and defense.

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

A brisk contest through seven innings saw Matt Manning put together a strong six inning outing with just a J.D. Martinez solo shot allowed. Unfortunately, after scratching out an early run on a Miguel Cabrera sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first, the bats went quiet against Michael Wacha and the Boston Red Sox bullpen.

Relievers Alex Lange and Michael Fulmer did their part, with scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth, but the runs just weren’t on tap. That finally changed in the eighth. Austin Meadows led off the inning with a sharp single to right, off lefty Austin Davis no less, and that brought Javier Báez to the dish with a man on and no outs in a 1-1 game.

El Mago then got all of a high fastball from Ryan Brasier. The only doubt off the bat was whether he kept it fair to left field. And oh yes, he did. The Tiger shortstop’s first home run was a big one.

We’ve already seen both the good and the bad from Báez defensively. He’ll occasionally make an inexplicable error or bad throw, but we’ve seen some web gems already as well. Prior to the long ball, we saw another fine defensive play on one of the few hard hit balls against Manning.

It’s currently still in the eighth inning, so let’s hope the boys can take on another run or two, and give closer Gregory Soto a nice stress free outing and even their record at 2-2.