Detroit Tigers fail to capitalize late, swept in 3-2 loss to Royals
Robbie Grossman doubled up, moved up to third on a Harold Castro ground cast, and scored when Miguel Cabrera put the Detroit Tigers on the scoreboard for the first time in 15 innings.
This is the sequence that manager AJ Hinch would like to see more often – bring the ball in and good things will happen. Strikeouts, the inability to contact fastball offers and mainly to score from home, will not help the team get better.
The Tigers (7-16) scored two runs on Monday, but the offense failed to result in a 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park at crucial moments. They left 11 runners stuck on the bases, including three in the seventh and eighth innings, and went with runners in the 2-goal position against 15. Detroit was defeated by Kansas City in four games and has lost 10 of its last 11 games.
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Grossman and Castro followed a run against Royals reliever Scott Barlow in the seventh inning and walked one behind the other with no outs. But Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario and Willi Castro – the heart of the lineup – each swung. Cabrera and Candelario sat on the slider and Castro chased a curveball in the dirt.
In the eighth, rule 5 draft pick Akil Baddoo crashed a leadoff triple against reliever Greg Holland. Once again the tigers failed at the gate. Niko Goodrum swung on a slider and Wilson Ramos disappointed with a groundball before home plate for an easy second out. Victor Reyes swung on a slider to end the inning.
In the first three fights with the Royals, the Tigers went 13 against 92 (.141) with three runs, four walks, and 38 strikers.In the final, Detroit went 9 against 35 (.257) with two runs, five walks and ten spikes. Kansas City scored 15 runs in the series.
Royals Righty Brad Keller started his fifth start with a miserable 16 runs that were allowed – for a 12:00 ERA – with 22 hits and nine walks through 12 innings. (On his last outing, he gave the Tampa Bay Rays five runs in 1⅔ innings.) Keller looked much better against the Tigers: six innings, eight hits, two runs, two walks, and four strikeouts to 103 pitches.
Next up for the Tigers is a nine-game road trip against the Chicago White Sox (Tuesday through Thursday), the New York Yankees (Friday through Sunday) and the Boston Red Sox (May 4-6). The Tigers have lost nine games in a row to the White Sox. Right-hander Jose Urena starts on Tuesday, against right-hander Lucas Giolito.
GAME 1: Another weak offensive from Tigers in a 2-6 defeat
GAME 2: Matthew Boyd throws a gem, but a 2-1 defeat misses the offensive
GAME 3: Tigers knock out for the third time in a 4-0 defeat and drop their fourth game in a row
When left-handed Daniel Norris warmed up in the bullpen, right-handed Spencer Turnbull was determined to complete the fifth inning. The final two outs were strikeouts – Jorge Soler looking at a 95.2 mile sinker on a 3-2 count and Ryan O’Hearn swinging a dirty slider on a 1-2 count.
Turnbull was efficient, using 81 pitches (53 strikes) to complete six frames of a three-run ball with five hits: 16 pitches in the first inning, 11 in the second, 17 in the third, 14 in the fourth, nine in the fifth, and 14 in the sixth.
He didn’t go a punch and hit five.
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In the third inning, Carlos Santana hit a fastball for the fifth time this season, giving Kansas City a 2-0 lead. Whit Merrifield hit a victim fly in the fifth inning for a 3-2 lead.
Turnbull got 12 swings and misses on three fastballs with four seams, two sinks, four sliders and three curveballs. Batters sniffed three of his 11 curveballs and four of his 18 sliders.
It was his second start this season. He now has a 3.27 ERA.
After Cabrera hit Grossman in the third inning, he landed on third base with a single from Candelario. The next batsman, Willi Castro, made a short stop to make the choice of an outfield player.
With runners on the corners, Cabrera didn’t have to run home, but he chose to. Even so, he didn’t run on immediate contact, so his poor reading on Castro’s floor ball – with an exit speed of 57 mph – put him at a disadvantage. Then he couldn’t slide home, and Royal catcher Salvador Perez had no problem marking him with a sharp throw from Nicky Lopez.
Since Cabrera wasn’t running on contact, he should have stayed on the third base to load the bases. After choosing to run, he had to slide home. The 38-year-old’s mistake cost the Tigers the chance to take the lead early on.
Baddoo swung out to finish the third inning. The 22-year-old went 1: 4 with two elimination games. Cabrera finished the 1: 3 with two walks and a strikeout.
In the fifth inning, Baddoo stranded the runners in first and second places with two outs. He flew into midfield by swinging 3-0 against a fastball, so that Keller got out of trouble unscathed.
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Candelario is the top hitter
As weak as the tigers’ bats were in the series, Candelario was a bright spot who went 6 against 16 (.375) with a double, a step and five spikes. The 27-year-old jumped into left field to end the game with JaCoby Jones, a prize runner for Cabrera, on first base.
Candelario scored two goals on Friday, two goals on Sunday and two goals on Monday. This season he has a batting average of .276 but is still trying to use his clout.
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Named Tiger of the Year 2020, Candelario is by far the most consistent player on the line-up and has felt comfortable on third base this year.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.