Detroit Tigers’ weekend from hell in Oakland ends with bad luck, sweep
No matter how cold it may be here mid-week, the Detroit Tigers will be thrilled to be 2,387 miles from Oakland.
They started the week with a three-game game against the former club of manager AJ Hinch in Houston. That became a distant memory shortly after they arrived on the west coast.
The A’s have won a series of four games, including an excruciating 3-2 loss on Sunday. The run was prepared by a fly ball lost in the sun.
The sun never seemed to shine on the Tigers all series.
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Detroit’s pitching staff faced control issues in Thursday’s kick-off when they went 12 batters. The offense that spawned 20 runs against the Astros fell silent over the next two days.
Harold Castro eventually finished the Tigers’ goalless streak with 23 innings with a single with two runs in the sixth inning on Sunday. That breakthrough was evidenced by a series of weird games, bad breaks, and missed opportunities.
The Tigers threatened in the first inning, but a fundamental mistake by Robbie Grossman proved costly. With two up and nobody out, Grossman didn’t get a good read on the second base on Willi Castro’s Bloop to Center, which fell off before Ramon Laureano.
Laureano was able to push Grossman into third place with one throw.
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“I thought Laureano baited him and froze him a little,” said Hinch. “At the bat ball, I thought he was going to be caught.”
Wilson Ramos’ subsequent single merely loaded the bases rather than tapping in one run. A’s starter Chris Bassitt then retired the next two batters, including Harold Castro, who had hits in his next three bats.
“He caught me in the first inning. He gave me good seats, ”Castro said. “I stayed with my trust. I knew I could hit the ball against him. “
Castro’s streak-breaking single gave the Tigers a 2-1 advantage, which Matthew Boyd scored in the eighth inning. Sean Murphy then pulled a fastball over the field fence in the center left to tie it.
“It wasn’t the only mistake I made in this game,” said Boyd. “I made one for (Elvis) Andrus and he met him well. I made one for (Mark Canha) and he made a single out of it. Sometimes you don’t notice them. Sometimes it goes down as a punch or ball, or lands in someone’s glove. This ended up on the other side of the fence. “
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After Harold Castro was stranded in goal position up in ninth place, Oakland’s Matt Olson hit a routine fly ball into the center. The problem was that midfielder Victor Reyes couldn’t find it. It fell harmlessly in front of him as Olson chugged into second place with a double.
“The sun is pretty bad here at day games,” said Harold Castro. “I can tell you because I played midfield here in 2019 and it’s pretty difficult to see the ball when the sun is right there.”
With two in and two out, catcher Wilson Ramos almost saved the Tigers by picking up Olson in second place. Second base referee Angel Hernandez first called Olson out and then found that shortstop Willi Castro was not holding onto the ball.
A few pitches later, Mitch Moreland Gregory Soto hit a bouncer on the opposite field that third baseman Jeimer Candelario was unable to correct. Olson came over to score and the Tigers’ lost weekend was over.
The Tigers have a day off on Monday before starting a three-game series against Pittsburgh. All Hinch wanted to do after that was look ahead.
“The first series of the year are long over. The series in Houston is long over, ”said Hinch. “We’ll go home, have a day off and start over at home against a new team.”