Eduardo Rodriguez is really going to cause us some headaches over the next few weeks leading to the trade deadline. He looked great tonight, really dialed in, pitching remarkably well, and that sort of thing is bound to renew a lot of attention from other teams.
So the question becomes, do the Tigers actually make an effort in one of baseball’s worst divisions and see if their newly healthy (well, mostly healthy) club can actually put something together, or do they do what they’ve done the last several years and sell anything that might bring them a decent return.
I really don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’d actually like to see them hang onto him.
Now let’s get onto today’s game.
Ryan Yarbrough was on the mound for the Royals, and gave up a one-out single to Riley Greene in the first, but the Tigers couldn’t manage to score THAT early. Rodriguez had a 1-2-3 outing and he’s going to do that a lot tonight, so we should get used to me saying it.
In the top of the second Javier Baez hit a solo home run with one out to put the Tigers on the board. The Royals went down in order on the home half of the inning.
Yarbrough allowed a two-out single to Greene in the third, followed by a Torkelson single, but neither runner was brought home. In the bottom of the inning Rodriguez once again went 1-2-3. The fourth inning was 1-2-3 for both sides.
Into the fifth and Yarbrough had a nice clean inning, and surprisingly it was Rodriguez who struggled this time. Matt Duffy got a one-out single, then Michael Massey hit a double to bring Duffy home. Massey advanced to third on a groundout, then a Kyle Isbel single brought him home to tie up the game.
The top of the sixth got really messy for the Royals. Greene doubled to lead things off, then Kerry Carpenter got a one-out single to bring Greene home. Yarbrough was done after two outs thanks to an uncomfortable-looking throw. Hernandez was out of the pen for the Royals in short order, having already been warming. Baez drew a walk, and then Miguel Cabrera singled to score Carpenter. The Tigers got their lead back.
Two outs, runner in scoring position and Miggy doing what he does best. pic.twitter.com/8nwhwKbmIT— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 20, 2023
Rodriguez had another 1-2-3 to finish the sixth.
Castillo had his own 1-2-3 inning in the top of the seventh, and then Rodriguez continued but things got a little hairy to finish out his day. Duffy was hit by a pitch, then Drew Waters singled with two outs, but Rodriguez pitched his way out of the mess without adding any runs to his tally. His final line was 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K on 89 pitches.
Top of the eighth a Jake Rogers single was the only Tigers baserunner, but could not manage to get a run in. Jason Foley was on in relief in the eighth, and gave up a walk to Maikel Garcia with one out, but Foley managed to get out of the inning cleanly after that.
The Tigers’ bats and walking shoes were both quiet in the top of the ninth, so it was all going to be up to Alex Lange in the bottom of the ninth to maintain the Tigers' scant lead. Lange hit Salvador Perez with a pitch to start things off, not ideal. Thankfully a double-play quickly eliminated the threat. Michael Massey walked, and then a Drew Waters single put Massey on third and Waters on first. Lange got the final out, but he really didn’t need to make it THAT interesting.
Final: Tigers 3, Royals 2