The Tigers continued their high-scoring battle against the Cubs tonight at Comerica Park, as each team made a solid effort to out-home run the other.
The starting pitchers were Reese Olson and old friend Drew Smyly. Olson started out with a 1-2-3 first, while in the bottom half Smyly was feeling frowny pretty early on. Andy Ibanez hit a one-out solo home run to put the Tigers on the board right away. Spencer Torkelson walked, and then stole second on a wild pitch. A Kerry Carpenter single then scored Torkelson. The Tigers were up 2-0 at the end of the first.
With two outs in the second, Olson allowed a walk to Seiya Suzuki. Candelario was then able to reach first on a fielding error from Torkelson, who just didn’t seem to see the ball, and Suzuki advanced to third. No runs scored though. In the bottom half Parker Meadows singled to start things off, then Zack Short hit a ground rule double. At one point it looked like an RBI triple, but the umpires sent everyone back. Zach McKinstry brought Meadows home in the next at-bat, though, with an RBI single.
Olson had another 1-2-3 inning in the third, and in the bottom half the Tigers settled for one baserunner with a two-out double from Jake Rogers, but no runs scored.
Things got bumpy for Olson in the fourth. Ian Happ drew a leadoff walk, then a Dansby Swanson home run scored two. Suzuki singled, followed by a Candelario home run to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. The Tigers weren’t content to let their lead drift away however. Meadows got a leadoff walk, then McKinstry singled. Matt Vierling singled, and Meadows was able to score on an error from Candelario that also allowed McKinstry to advance to third. Ibanez got his second home run of the night, scoring three and bringing the Tigers bat to the lead.
THE ANDY MAN.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 22, 2023
First career multi-homer game for Ibáñez! pic.twitter.com/72qHxdyz6O
Things continued to be interesting in the fifth. Mike Tauchman walked, then Cody Bellinger got a two-out double. That was it for Olson for the night, going 4.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 HR on 97 pitches. After Brendan White came on in relief he immediately gave up a single to Swanson to score Tauchman and Bellinger. In the bottom half of the inning Meadows got his first extra-base hit with a triple, but the Tigers weren’t able to bring him home.
White found his footing in the top of the sixth, setting the Cubs down in order. In the bottom half Ibanez got a one-out walk, and was then able to advance to third after a wild pitch and a throwing error. Carpenter was intentionally walked, but no Tigers runs scored.
Tyler Holton was on for the seventh and had a clean 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom half the Tigers likewise went down in order.
In the top of the eighth Meadows made one of the most sensational catches not only of his major league career but of the Tigers’ season. Jason Foley replaced Holton after one out. Suzuki singled, and Candelario doubled, but Foley left them both stranded. In the bottom of the eighth McKinstry was hit by a pitch, then Vierling walked. Torkelson then walked to load it up. Cuas hit Carpenter with a pitch to force in a run. A double play ended the inning, but the extra run was much needed in such a close game.
Alex Lange was out for the ninth. Nick Madrigal got a one-out single, and Torkelson just looked deeply uncomfortable at first base. Madrigal took second on defensive indifference, but it was too late for the Cubs as Lange closed it out.
Final: Tigers 8, Cubs 6