Before we get into the details of this afternoon’s game, we need to acknowledge just how terrible the Tigers’ luck with injuries has been this season. I am the first to offer a pessimistic take on this club, but looking at the injury radar and where the Tigers are in the AL Central standings, well... it certainly does feel like they might actually have a chance to do something in the division if everyone wasn’t hurt.
I bring this up because in today’s game Reese Olson took a comebacker to the leg and had to leave the game. So while we wait to hear his status, this is what we’re currently looking at.
Now, with that black cloud overhead, let’s go to Texas and see how things shook out.
Cody Bradford was pitching first for the Rangers, and gave up back-to-back walks to Spencer Torkelson and Andy Ibanez. The Tigers were not able to capitalize on the early runners, however. Bottom of the first Olson went out and had a bit of a tough beginning. Marcus Semien singled, then Nathaniel Lowe got a one-out walk. With two outs and two men on, Josh Jung singled and scored Semien, putting the Rangers on the board first.
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to bite back, though. Second inning saw Jake Rogers get aboard with a one-out walk. Then Jake Marisnick tripled to score Rogers. A Matt Vierling single then scored Marisnick and the Tigers pulled ahead 2-1. Bottom of the inning was when we lost Olson with two outs, and a comebacker from Josh Smith that was counted as an infield single. No runs scored, but the overworked Tigers’ pen was about to get spread even thinner.
Kerry Carpenter was the only man on base in the top of the third with a single. Bottom of the inning reliever Tyler Holton allowed a single to Travis Jankowski, who was then eliminated in a double play, and then another single to Adolis Garcia, who did not score.
The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth, and in the bottom of the inning Holton tripped up. Ezequiel Duran hit a one-out solo home run to tie things up at 2-2. With a Mitch Garver single to follow that was it for Holton, who gave way to Tyler Alexander, who ended the inning by inducing a double play.
With the score tied in the fifth, it was a solo shot from Torkelson that put the Tigers back in the lead, and chase Bradford from the game. Baez managed a single against reliever Anderson, but the Tigers would need to settle for the one run.
Doink for double digit dingers.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 29, 2023
It's a go-ahead Tork Bomb off the pole! pic.twitter.com/X2fmI3PBXm
Alexander was back in the bottom of the fifth, allowing a double to Jankowski, but limiting the damage to that one hit.
In the sixth, Rogers drew another walk, but the Tigers failed to bring him home. Bottom of the sixth the ball went to Mason Englert who allowed a solo homer from Leody Taveras, tying things up once more.
But the Tigers were feeling scrappy today. Top of the seventh Vierling kicked things off with a single, followed by a Torkelson walk. Ibanez then singled to score Vierling. A Baez single had the bases loaded, but the Tigers were unable to get more than the one run, and headed into the stretch with a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the seventh Jose Cisnero had his turn, and gave up a one-out single to Semien. That would be the only baserunner for the Rangers that inning.
Jake Rogers started the eighth inning with a double. Zach McKinstry then got a one-out single to score Rogers. Vierling drew a walk. Torkelson then homered to bring in three runs and all of a sudden the Tigers were up 8-3.
Feeling like a two Tork Bomb kinda day! pic.twitter.com/KfrNWJiQjF— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) June 29, 2023
Bottom of the eighth it was Jason Foley’s turn to take the mound, and he had a nice 1-2-3 outing.
The Tigers went down in order in the top of the ninth, meaning it was up to Alex Lange (naturally) to finish things off for the Tigers and hopefully maintain the lead. A Duran single started the bottom of the ninth. Smith then got a one-out single. Semien then walked to load the bases. So... not ideal with only one out. Jankowski then walked to score Duran. Maybe, just MAYBE we don’t always need to use Lange just because it’s the ninth. A Lowe sac fly scored Smith. A lineout got the final out, before it could get worse, and the Tigers took the W.
Final: Tigers 8, Rangers 5