Both the Tigers and the weather heated up this week in this edition of My Tigers Weekly. Detroit hosted 7 games in 6 days at Comerica Park against the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals. Strong starting pitching and home runs were responsible for a 5-2 week that saw that Tigers improve to 9-11 with a positive run differential.
The Baltimore Orioles walked away winless in their only trip of the season to Comerica Park. The series started on Tuesday. Victor Martinez connected for his first home run of the season to put the Tigers ahead early. The Orioles answered with runs in the 3rd and 5th inning to tie the game before Jeimer Candelario’s triple put the Tigers ahead for good. Francisco Liriano got the win with 2 earned runs in 5 innings.
V-Mart launches one
Liriano fires strong start
Bullpen shuts the door
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 18, 2018
In the second game the starting pitchers for both teams, Boyd and Gausman, gave their teams quality starts. The bullpens though were far less successful with a combined 8 earned runs in 4 2/3’s innings. The Tigers entered the 8th with a 2-1 lead on the strength of solo home runs by Candelario and Miguel Cabrera (making it a very happy 35th birthday). The Orioles scored 3 runs in the 8th to take a short lived lead before the Tigers answered right back in the bottom of the frame with a 3 run home run by John Hicks. Shane Greene gave up a home run to Luis Sardinas to tie the game but got the win when Dixon Machado hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the 9th.
— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) April 18, 2018
The Tigers completed the sweep with a 13-8 win on Thursday. Musician Jack White was in attendance. The bats once again led the way as Leonys Martin hit a grand slam as part of a 5 run 5th inning that put the Tigers up 12-3. Jeimer Candelario hit another home run and finished with 8 hits in 12 AB’s with 2 home runs, a triple, and 5 RBI’s in the series.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 19, 2018
The Tigers missed two chances to reach .500 this weekend against the Kansas City Royals. Friday was a day/night doubleheader to make up for a postponed game earlier this month. The first game was a pitchers duel between Michael Fullmer and Jason Hammel. Both gave up only 2 runs in 7 and 9 innings respectively. JaCoby Jones hit a walk off home run in the 10th inning. The Royals returned the favor in the nightcap, winning by the same 3-2 margin. Niko Goodrum’s error allowed Alcides Escobar to score in the 9th and Shane Green took the loss. The Tigers took out their frustrations on Danny Duffy on Saturday. Detroit put up crooked numbers in 6 of the 8 innings, led by Nick Castellanos’ 3 hits and 3 RBI’s, including his first home run of the season. The Tigers won by a final score of 12-4. It looked like the Tigers would reach .500 on Sunday. Francisco Liriano had a no hitter into the 6th until Whit Merrifield broke it up with a home run that cut the lead to 2-1. Liriano was removed with 2 on and one out. Alex Wilson gave up a walk and a grand slam to Abraham Almonte. The Tigers answered back with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning to tie things back up at 5, but Mike Moustakas’ 3 run home run in the 7th proved to be the difference as the Tigers fell 8-5.
Game 17: Recap
Game 18: Recap
#Tigers bats combine for 12 runs on 16 hits to overpower the Royals.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 21, 2018
Game 20: Recap
Now the Tigers go on the road for a 3 game series in Pittsburgh then Baltimore. While the Pirates are 12-10 and in the mix in the NL Central, the Orioles are scuffling at 6-16 and are in the basement of the AL East. The AL Central however is open for the taking. The Indians have not been dominant out of the gate. The Tigers, at 9-11, are only 2.5 games behind them and are in the middle of the pack. If they want to make a move towards the top, then they will need to perform on the road.