The Detroit Tigers came into the series finale with the Baltimore Orioles looking to do something it had never done before in franchise history, sweep a season series of 6 games or more. Unfortunately, Jordan Lyles had other ideas and the Orioles hitters got to Manning to take the series finale, 8-1.
Jordan Lyles completely flummoxed the Tiger’s bats in this one. They were swinging early but Lyles got soft contact often as he pounded the zone with balls the Tigers couldn’t square up. The Tigers had only 2 hits through six innings, and Lyles had thrown just 67 pitches. The average exit velocity was just 82.2 mph and the hardest hit ball was a Harold Castro 98.0 mph single.
The hard hits finally showed up in the seventh inning. Baez started things off with a 108.8 mph grounder before Kerry Carpenter finally broke through against Lyles when he launched a ball to center field at 100 mph for a solo home run. That would be the only blemish on the night for Lyles, as he ended up pitching a complete game, his defense getting in on the fun in the ninth with 3 highlight reel plays for the final three outs. His final line is solid gold. 9IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 6K, 94 pitches.
Matt Manning looked just a bit off in this one. The Orioles had good contact off his fastball and he only got a modest number of swings and misses off his offerings. The fastball velo was down and his command was nowhere near as sharp as we’ve typically seen from him. All in all, he just seemed out of sync most of the night. His defense mostly helped him out, with an inning-ending double play in the second, and two great plays from Akil Baddoo. He first took away an extra-base hit at the wall in the first, and then in the fifth, he slid to catch a sinking line drive.
But the Orioles got on the board first, thanks to a misplay by Harold Castro on a textbook would-be inning-ending double play ball. It happened in the bottom of the third, with runners on the corners and one out. Manning got the groundball to second from Adley Rutschman but Harold Castro bobbled the ball and couldn’t make any play. That scored a run and then led to two more runs scoring afterward on a single and a sacrifice fly.
Manning kept the Orioles quiet after that until the bottom of the sixth inning. He walked the leadoff man, and then with one out, Kyle Stowers hit a 91 mph fastball on the inside over the center field wall for a two-run home run. A walk to the following batter, his fifth walk of the ninth on his 102nd pitch ended his night. His final line and stats reflected his mixed results outing. 5.1 IP, 4H, 5R, 3 ER, 5BB, 4K, 103 pitches. The hardest hit ball was the Stowers HR, which left the bat at 108.1 MPH but there were plenty of hard hits up and down the lineup. However, the five walks are the key indicator of his issues in this one.
Daniel Norris took over for Manning in the bottom of the sixth and closed out the inning plus pitched a clean seventh inning, racking up three strikeouts in his outing. Jason Foley got the eighth inning but he gave up three straight singles to score another run. He struggled his way through the rest of the inning, finally getting the third out after giving up 3 runs on five singles.