The Tigers overcame another injury to the starting rotation on Saturday. However, good work from the bullpen against a weak Orioles lineup, and a pair of solo home runs from Willi Castro and Eric Haase carried them to their second straight victory for the first time since April 21.
Michael Pineda cruised through the first inning, but the first batter of the second, Ramon Urias, lined one off his pitching hand and Pineda left the game with a contusion. The ball deflected to Jonathan Schoop who recorded the out, and so Wily Peralta entered the game with one out in the second.
Peralta got Rougned Odor to pop out, but Tyler Nevin reached on a Javy Báez throwing error with two outs. Peralta didn’t mind, getting Ryan McKenna swinging over a slider for the final out of the inning.
Meanwhile, the Tigers provided a rare early run to take the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Jonathan Schoop drilled a double that got away from McKenna, allowing him to slide safely into third. Willi Castro immediately got a pitch he could lift, and flew out to deep center field, easily scoring Schoop tagging from third.
Peralta touched 97 mph on the day, and despite a couple of walks, blanked the Orioles through four. He ended the third and fourth by inducing a double-play ball, and the Tigers went on to turn four of them on the day. They needed it, as the infield defense was pretty atrocious again, mainly due to a pair of Candelario errors, only one of which was actually scored an error.
Jason Foley took over in the fifth. He punched out Odor, but Nevin singled through the right side with one out. This time McKenna was the victim, as he grounded into a 1-4-3 double play, nicely started by Foley himself.
The Tigers’ offense has been shockingly powerful to begin the season, but they finally showed a little more pop today. In the bottom of the fifth, Eric Haase got into a Bruce Zimmermann sinker up and away in the zone, lifting it just over the wall in the left field. Even the loud ones off the bat this year are often wall scrapers this season. It’s peculiar, but anyway, dingerz, friends. Precious, precious dingerz.
Foley stranded Cedric Mullins, who reached on a good bunt down the third base line with two outs in the sixth, wrapping up a nice return to the active roster.
Joe Jiménez took over the seventh, and gave up a one-out double to Urias on a solid one-hopper that Candelario whiffed on, taking it in the chest as the ball left bounded into foul territory for a “double.” Jiménez shook it off, popping up Odor, and then freezing Nevin with a 96 mph heater at the bottom of the zone to end the frame.
And once again, the Tigers flashed some wall-scraper power. Willi Castro produced his second RBI on the day, lifting a solo shot, his first of the year, into the waiting glove of Andrew Chafin in the Tigers’ bullpen. The Tigers went quietly from there but held a 3-0 lead heading into the eighth.
Chafin took over in the top of the eighth and got a ground ball from McKenna to third base. Candelario botched this one as well, clanging it off the glove to allow the leadoff hitter on first. Chafin, ever cool, punched out Anthony Benboom and Chris Owings, and got a routine grounder to Báez from Cedric Mullins to snuff any developing threat.
The Tigers went quietly in the eighth. Miguel Cabrera was up with two outs and decided to swing at a 3-0 pitch, which is quite rare for him. He nearly hit it out to right-center… if this wasn’t Comerica Park.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Jorge Lopez#DetroitRoots
Exit bike: 104.8 mph
Launch angle: 30 deg
Project. distance: 396 ft
This would have been a home run in 12/30 MLB ballparks
BAL (0) @ DET (3)
— Would it dong? (@would_it_dong) May 14, 2022
AJ Hinch, employing the “get back on the horse” methodology, put in Gregory Soto again to close it out. Soto was still a little wilder than usual, and Trey Mancini battled through a nine-pitch AB before singing through the right side of the infield. However, another long AB, this time from Anthony Santander ended in a 6-4-3 double play turn started by Candelario. Soto reared back and punched out Urias, and the Tigers had back-to-back victories for the first time since April 21.
— AJ Hinch announced prior to today’s game that Casey Mize would return to Lakeland and rest before beginning his rehab protocols again. The setback likely means the Tigers won’t see Mize until well into June at the earliest. Matt Manning looked good for Toledo on Friday night and should return to the rotation after one more rehab start with the Mud Hens.
— Michael Pineda has a fractured middle finger per Hinch’s postgame comments. Looks like the starter carousel will continue. Alex Faedo and Beau Brieske already looked set for a few more starts, but until Manning returns, they’re still down a starter.
— Miguel Cabrera collected two more hits in this one, raising his team-leading OPS to .728. Willi Castro is at .834 but doesn’t have enough ABs to qualify.
— Wily Peralta’s 2 2⁄3 innings of no-hit work dropped his ERA to a cool 0.59.
Michael Pineda has a fractured right middle finger, according to AJ Hinch. He’ll undergo further tests and see specialist to determine next steps.
—Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 14, 2022