The Tigers may have scored 21 runs in two games against Texas over the weekend, but the Boston Red Sox aren’t the Rangers and Detroit fell in the series opener Monday, 5-2.
Red Sox starter Josh Winckowski cruised through the first three batters of the night and ran into little trouble through 6 2⁄3 innings of work. He’s responsible for both of Detroit’s runs, but the win was never really in doubt for him despite the Tigers outhitting the Sox, 10-9.
Alex Faedo’s night was not as sharp. The Detroit starter opened the game up by walking Jarren Duran on four-straight balls and allowing him to swipe second two pitches later with Rafael Devers at the plate. Tucker Barnhart had a chance to throw him out but the ball short-hopped Javier Báez and Duran made it in safely. Faedo struck out Devers looking, but J.D. Martinez (hello, old friend) drove in the run with a soft line drive that fell into shallow right-center field.
Detroit didn’t roll over and die immediately though, as it has so many times this year. Call it the Riley Greene spark or whatever you want, but bringing up the rookie has made a difference so far for this Tigers team. Greene got things going in the second inning with another walk (how long until he’s hitting leadoff?) and went first to third on a Jemier Candelario single into left field. Spencer Torkelson drove Greene in with a sacrifice fly, and it was a brand new ballgame, 1-1.
Even though the Tigers lost, seeing Tork and Greene work together is a special feeling, to say the least. Let’s not skip past the Candy Man making an impact in his first at-bat back from the injured list, either. Before injuring his shoulder, Candelario was hitting .181 with five home runs in 195 plate appearances. One hit doesn’t mean everything is better, but it’s a good sign, especially when he’s batting between two rookies who seem to enjoy playing with one another.
Franchy Cordero threatened to take the lead right back in the bottom of the second, but Faedo left him stranded on third following a double off the monster in left-center. Barnhart laced a single up the middle but was doubled up on a Robbie Grossman line drive hit right to Cordero at first base. Meanwhile, the Red Sox were just getting started with Faedo.
Duran and Devers hit back-to-back doubles to retake the lead in the bottom of the third, and Faedo finally got out of the frame after his 61st pitch. Detroit was gifted a ground-rule double in the fourth but couldn’t score the tying run this time around. Báez would’ve been safe regardless but the ball girl misread things and tossed a live ball into the stands after picking it up. She held things together well but everyone had a smirk on their face after the mishap.
Faedo had to work out of a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the bottom of the fourth but not before he gave up an insurance run that admittedly wasn’t entirely on him. Trevor Story should have been out after hitting a routine fly ball to center field, but Greene made the first error of his big league career and gave the Red Sox a free runner in scoring position. Cordero moved him over to second and Christian Vazquez knocked Story in on a sac fly. Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded out and that would have been the end of the inning had the error not happened. Faedo needed 14 more pitches and faced three more batters before getting out of it. A.J. Hinch came out during the inning and didn’t seem happy, but he let Faedo finish it and even allowed him to return for the fifth.
Bad idea, Andrew.
The former Gator got one more out to open up the fifth, but the Red Sox had his number and collected the team’s seventh and eighth hits of the night. Faedo’s night ended at that point and it’s his second-straight short outing after going just three innings against Chicago on Wednesday. At this point, leaving Faedo out there to figure out MLB hitters is what’s best for him. He started off his MLB career with a string of solid performances and has since regressed, but there’s not much left for him to learn in Toledo.
Faedo out for the fifth at 85 pitches. Bit of a test from AJ here.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) June 21, 2022
Tyler Alexander replaced Faedo and promptly gave up a two-run single to make it 5-1. Alexander put down the next two batters to get out of the fifth and gave the Tigers their first 1-2-3 inning of the night on the mound in the sixth.
Detroit’s bats woke up again in the seventh. Candelario wasted a leadoff single from Greene by providing a double-play ball, but Jonathan Schoop doubled in Torkelson after he reached on a single. Winckowski came out of the game for reliever Jake Diekman, and Hinch countered with Eric Haase as a pinch hitter. Haase worked a full count and laced a ball into left field, but Verdugo held on to a diving grab that was more than Web Gem worthy.
Joe Jiménez looked very good in the seventh, striking out two Red Sox and inducing a groundout to retire the side in order, but the Tigers were running out of time to come back. The eighth inning was Detroit’s best chance to tie the game back up after Miguel Cabrera and Báez got into scoring position, but Greene struck out looking on a ball that was out of the zone by a few inches. As good as Greene’s eye has been so far, he can’t afford to take that pitch in that moment. A rookie isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt there, and it goes down as a tough learning moment for the 21-year-old.
Will Vest worked the Tigers' third-straight clean inning, and Tanner Houck closed things out for the Sox. Torkelson singled to give the Tigers double-digit hits on the night, but it’s a minor moral victory after dropping what was a winnable game.
Faedo didn’t give the team much of a shot at winning tonight but neither did the offense until late and playing from behind is never easy. The good news is that they play 162 games a season and get a chance to even up the series tomorrow.
Tigers Trade Trayce Thompson
During the game, Detroit made news by trading recently acquired outfielder Trayce Thompson to the L.A. Dodgers for some cash. It’s essentially free money for the Tigers after picking up Thompson through free agency in mid-May after he was designated for assignment by the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers needed some depth after Mookie Betts went down with an injury, and the Tigers need to make space for rising star Kerry Carpenter, who has 22 homers in 59 games with Erie.
Trayce Thompson had an opt out and wasn’t going to get an MLB op with the Tigers. Detroit getting cash considerations, per source— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) June 20, 2022