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Red Wings Hire Lightning Assistant Derek Lalonde As Coach

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings have hired Derek Lalonde to coach their rebuilding team, hoping the two-time Stanley Cup-winning assistant can make all the right moves to make the franchise relevant again.

Lalonde spent the past four years on Jon Cooper’s staff with the Tampa Bay Lightning, a stretch that included championships in 2020 and ’21 and, most recently, a third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

“He has proven himself as an excellent coach at every level and has spent the last four seasons in the National Hockey League as part of a very successful program in Tampa Bay,” general manager Steve Yzerman said in a statement. “We feel he is ready to take the next step in his career as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings.”

Yzerman was GM of the Lightning when he promoted Cooper to his first NHL head-coaching job in 2013. It’s the first time an active assistant of Cooper’s has jumped to a head job in the NHL.

“I’m ready to get to work with our group,” Lalonde said in a statement. “There’s a very bright future ahead in Detroit.”

Lalonde, 49, like Cooper won a United States Hockey League title with the Green Bay Gamblers. He coached in the ECHL and American Hockey League before joining the Lightning.

After a two-month search, Lalonde replaces Jeff Blashill, who did not have the team option on his contract picked up after seven seasons. Blashill had a .447 points percentage, the second-worst in the league over that time — not counting the debut season of the expansion Seattle Kraken.

Yzerman didn’t reveal much when he spoke to reporters early in the search, but he did say that being familiar with the new man in charge would be a plus.

“Derek has an impressive resume, particularly the work he’s done with young players and prospects throughout his career,” president and CEO Chris Ilitch said in a statement. “We’re excited to have him leading the charge behind the Red Wings bench. I’d also like to commend Steve and his staff for conducting a very thorough and detailed search process”

Detroit has not earned a spot in the playoffs for six consecutive years after being in 25 straight postseasons and winning the Stanley Cup four times. But Lalonde does have some players potentially capable of leading a turnaround.

Veterans Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana are proven players up front, and Lucas Raymond, who was also a standout rookie last season, is a promising forward joining them in the lineup.

Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider is set to anchor the defense for years to come, filling a void that has not been addressed since Nicklas Lidstrom retired a decade ago.

Yzerman, a Hall of Fame player with the Red Wings, has a hand-picked coach for the first time with the once-proud franchise he’s leading.

After drafting and acquiring talent to turn Tampa Bay into a two-time champion and perennial contender, Yzerman has consistently said it will take time to make Detroit a winner again and has refused to put timelines on the rebuild.

Lalonde, as quickly as he can, will shoot to aim to address the Red Wings’ shortcomings next season with relative stability after Blashill coached in recent years with job uncertainty.

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Tigers Hold Off Giants 3-2

Eric Haase hit a two-run homer to break a 1-all tie in the sixth inning and the Detroit Tigers held on to beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Wednesday.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 29: Eric Haase #13 of the Detroit Tigers hits a two-run home run against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 29, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

It was Haase’s fifth home run of the season and his second in the last three games. Miguel Cabrera also drove in a run for the Tigers, who improved their league-worst road record to 11-23 and split the two-game series.

“Definitely looking slider,” Haase said. “Fortunately for me, I got one in the zone and just something I could handle.”

Added Tigers manager A.J. Hinch: “I loved how he handled the game behind the plate and also came up big with the homer when we needed it to separate us a little bit and give us a little breathing room.”

Rony García (3-2) won his third consecutive start for Detroit, allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts in five innings. Gregory Soto pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 17 opportunities.

“It was wonderful,” García said through a translator. “It was very, very good. I tried to do the job and fortunately, we were able to win the game today.”

Evan Longoria had a first-inning home run for the Giants, his eighth of the year, but San Francisco couldn’t capitalize on late-inning chances to tie the game.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 29: Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run off of Rony Garcia #51 of the Detroit Tigers in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on June 29, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Down 3-1 in the seventh, the Giants loaded the bases with one out. Mike Yastrzemski grounded into a fielder’s choice, allowing Tommy La Stella to score and cut the deficit to one. After a walk to Longoria loaded the bases again, Austin Slater struck out on three pitches.

In the eighth, La Stella doubled to left with two outs, but Wilmer Flores grounded out to third to end the inning. Overall, the Giants left nine runners on base.

San Francisco starter Alex Wood (5-7) fanned six in 5 2/3 innings but surrendered three runs on seven hits to take the loss.

“These are the days that are just extremely frustrating,” Wood said. “I felt really good. I thought it was the best my slider’s been in a long time if not (all) year. So to have that (home run) happen at the end really sucked, to be honest. Just really frustrating.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 29: Alex Wood #57 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the top of the first inning at Oracle Park on June 29, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Michael Pineda (fractured right middle finger) is expected to come off the injured list and start Friday against Kansas City. “We’re not gonna make anything official until likely Friday morning,” Hinch said. “He’s penciled in. That’s about as far as we need to take it.”

Giants: OF LaMonte Wade Jr. returned after missing nearly six weeks with left knee inflammation. Wade led off and went 1 for 5. … LHP José Álvarez (lower back tightness) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, pitching a scoreless inning with one strikeout. “He’s gonna be off today and re-evaluated but it went well so far,” manager Gabe Kapler said. … RHP Jakob Junis (left hamstring strain) threw a bullpen session Tuesday.

ROSTER MOVE

The Giants optioned IF/C Yermín Mercedes to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Wade on the active roster.

UP NEXT

Tigers: Pineda (1-2, 3.22 ERA) is expected to come off the IL and open a three-game home series against the Kansas City Royals on Friday. Pineda hasn’t appeared in a game since May 14. Brad Keller (2-9, 4.56) is slated to pitch for KC.

Giants: RHP Alex Cobb (3-3, 5.48) takes the hill Friday as San Francisco welcomes the Chicago White Sox for a three-game series. Lance Lynn (1-1, 6.19) will pitch for Chicago.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Chase Elliott Wins Long Race At Nashville

Chase Elliott salvaged a crummy day for Hendrick Motorsports and interrupted a potential Toyota rout by winning the rain-drenched race at Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday night.

LEBANON, TENNESSEE – JUNE 26: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26, 2022 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Elliott recovered from an early issue that dropped him deep into the field to take the lead with 38 laps remaining and hold off three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers for his second Cup victory of the season.

It took NASCAR’s most popular driver nearly seven hours and a late four-lap shootout to get to victory lane. NASCAR moved the start-up by 12 minutes because of looming bad weather, then sat through an hour-long stoppage for lightning in the area, followed by a later rain delay that stretched a tick past two hours.

“So proud of our team,” Elliott said. “We had kind of a setback there about halfway and was able to get the Chevy dialed back in and get back in the mix. It was a long day, fun day.”

The race resumed right at the halfway point with teams unsure if the full 300 laps would be completed or if the race would be stopped early because of more rain. Toyota controlled almost the entire event — four of its drivers combined to lead 253 laps — but the No. 5 Hendrick crew brought Elliott’s Chevrolet to life in the closing stretch.

“We were `(The) Bad News Bears’ to start, and then at the end, we got it right and were really good,” crew chief Alan Gustafson said.

LEBANON, TENNESSEE – JUNE 26: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, Kurt Busch, driver of the #45 Monster Energy Toyota, Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26, 2022 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

He had the race in hand when a caution came out with nine laps remaining and Elliott didn’t pit from the lead for fresh tires. Nine other drivers stayed on track with him to create a pack of traffic that prevented the Toyotas from catching Elliott after they stopped for fresh tires.

“I figured it was coming. I was hoping not,” Elliott said about the caution. He led two times for 42 laps. But he pulled away on the restart and beat Kurt Busch — in a Toyota for 23XI Racing — by 0.551 seconds.

“Getting a win is always huge. To do it in a really cool city like Nashville is even better. Looking forward to that guitar,” Elliott said about Nashville’s traditional winner’s trophy.

“These things are hard to come by and you have to enjoy them. You never know when or if ever you will get another one. So, super thankful and looking forward to next week.”

Elliott’s other win this season was at Dover, which like Nashville is a concrete track.

Busch, who led three laps for Toyota, said he should have been harder on Elliott on the final restart.

LEBANON, TENNESSEE – JUNE 26: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26, 2022 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

“I got soft on him. I should have been throwing some fenders and moving some momentum around,” said Busch. “I just needed to stick with our strength and I messed up. The way that we’re running, a second is cool, but we’re here for wins.”

Ryan Blaney was third in a Ford and followed by Elliott’s teammate Kyle Larson, the defending race winner. The JGR trio of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. fell to sixth, 21st, and 22nd after the late decision to stop for tires ahead of the final restart.

MIXED HENDRICK DAY

The race went bad for Hendrick Motorsports in a two-lap sequence shortly after it resumed following the early lightning delay.

William Byron headed to the garage with a broken steering rack on his Chevrolet minutes after the race resumed, and one lap later, Alex Bowman suffered severe damage when contact with Corey LaJoie caused him to spin.

Bowman derided LaJoie’s talent on his team radio, while LaJoie asked his team to apologize to Bowman on his behalf. During a lengthy rain delay hours later, LaJoie posted to Twitter a T-shirt design that said “Really Good Race Car Driver” to mimic Bowman’s insult.

But the damage was done for Bowman, who is sponsored by Ally, which has heavily invested in NASCAR’s return to the Nashville market. The company is the entitlement sponsor for the Cup race and heavily activated at several downtown Nashville tourist spots.

Bowman had returned to the event hoping to improve on last year’s 14th-place finish — which he found unacceptable because of Ally’s significant presence at the speedway. He finished last in the 36-car field.

BAD MOOD BUBBA

Bubba Wallace lost his temper with his 23XI Racing crew when he had to pit from sixth place because of a loose wheel. He cursed his crew, then said he didn’t want to talk to them the rest of the race.

LEBANON, TENNESSEE – JUNE 26: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 Root Insurance Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 26, 2022 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

“Leave me the (expletive) alone,” he radioed the No. 23 team. “Don’t talk to me the rest of the race.”

Crew chief Bootie Barker tried to calm his driver, who has been all over the map at Nashville. He was fastest in Friday practice but then qualified 30th with team co-owner Michael Jordan watching from pit road.

“We’re not out of it,” Barker replied. “I know you are (angry) and you deserve to be.”

Wallace restarted 31st, the last car on the lead lap. He rallied to finish 12th.

UP NEXT

NASCAR’s Cup Series races on the Road America road course in Wisconsin for just the third time. Elliott is the defending champion.

 

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Jerami Grant To Be Traded To Portland By Detroit

A person with knowledge of the situation said the Detroit Pistons have agreed to trade Olympic gold medalist Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers, with the biggest part of the return being a first-round pick in 2025.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 10: Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons dunks the ball during the second half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on November 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Detroit gets the No. 36 pick in the draft Thursday and what would have been Milwaukee’s first-round pick in 2025, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither team had announced the agreement publicly.

ESPN first reported the trade agreement, along with the detail that the 2025 first-round pick is top-four protected.

Grant’s salary — nearly $21 million for next season — is virtually the exact amount as the trade exception that Portland created in February when it traded C.J. McCollum to New Orleans.

It also gives Portland a big boost after a disappointing season, one where perennial All-Star Damian Lillard missed much of the year while injured. He and Grant were teammates on the U.S. Olympic team that won gold at the Tokyo Games last summer.

The most significant payoff for Detroit by making the move is cap space. The Pistons now have somewhere around $44 million in space available this summer, with free agency set to start in about a week.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – MARCH 07: Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons plays against the Atlanta Hawks at Little Caesars Arena on March 07, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Grant — who played his college basketball at Syracuse — averaged 19.2 points in 47 games with the Pistons this past season and has seen his numbers greatly improve over the last two years. In his first six seasons, he averaged 9.3 points while playing for Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Denver.

But in his two seasons with the Pistons, Grant averaged 20.9 points.

And the trade serves as a homecoming of sorts. Grant was born in 1994 when his father, Harvey Grant, was in the first of his three seasons as a member of the Trail Blazers.

 

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Tigers’ Mize To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

Detroit Tigers right-hander Casey Mize, the top pick in the 2018 June draft, will undergo Tommy John surgery, manager A.J. Hinch announced on Friday.

Mize, 25, has been on the injured list with a right elbow sprain since April 15 after making two starts this season.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 11: Casey Mize #12 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Comerica Park on September 11, 2021, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Mize’s ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow is still intact, but Dr. Keith Meister determined the ligament had stretched to the point where it had lost elasticity and functionality.

“I’m very sad for Casey, for the work he put in and for the ultimate diagnosis,” Hinch said.

The date of surgery has not been determined.

Mize got two outs for Triple-A Toledo on May 12, then had his rehab program slowed down. Hinch announced on Tuesday that Mize had been shut down due to continued elbow discomfort while rehabbing at the team’s spring training facility in Lakeland, Florida.

Mize has a 7-13 record with a 4.29 ERA in 39 big league appearances, all of them starts.

 

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Daniel Suárez Races To First Historic NASCAR Cup Series Win At Sonoma

Daniel Suárez had tears in his eyes for so many reasons Sunday after he realized a lifelong dream by crossing the finish line first at Sonoma Raceway.

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 12: NASCAR hosts Jose Castillo interviews Daniel Suarez, driver of the #99 Onx Homes/Renu Chevrolet, in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 12, 2022 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

While Suárez was overjoyed to become the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race, he quickly felt overwhelmed with gratitude and memories of his motorsports journey. He also thought about the multitude of fans backing him across the continent and beyond, including several hundred red-shirted supporters screaming their hearts out in the Sonoma grandstands as part of his Daniel’s Amigos outreach program.

“I just feel extremely lucky,” Suárez said after holding off Chris Buescher to the checkered flag.

“I’m fortunate to be that driver that the whole Hispanic community can connect with,” he added. “I feel like I have an entire country and community behind me. The people wearing red shirts today, those are my people. Some of them, have exactly the same journey I have — coming from Mexico, not knowing the language, trying to find an opportunity, having goals, and trying to make that dream happen. These are my people, and I feel lucky to be the person to represent all of them.”

Despite those poignant thoughts, this occasion was not solemn for the 30-year-old native of Monterrey who finally won in the 195th career start of a Cup Series career that began in 2017.

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 12: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #99 Onx Homes/Renu Chevrolet, celebrates by smashing a taco pinata after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 12, 2022 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

After his tears dried in the car, he quickly called for the pinata shaped like a taco that he’s been keeping on hand for his first win — and he celebrated by punching a hole through it with his fist.

“Nobody knows how much sweat, sacrifice, and tears this has caused me,” Suárez said. “This whole time, I was always dreaming about winning in the Cup Series.”

Suárez drove his Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet to the third Cup Series victory of the season for this rising 2-year-old team co-owned by former driver Justin Marks and music star Pitbull.

Suárez got past Buescher and took charge early in the final stage on this hilly road course in Northern California wine country, and he persevered through a pit stop and a caution to emerge in front with 23 laps to go. Buescher pushed him aggressively, but Suárez made no significant mistakes while rolling to victory.
Buescher’s second-place finish was also a season-best in his RFK Racing Ford. He fell just short of his second career victory.

“Hurts to be that close, but congratulations to Suárez,” Buescher said. “We were trying, trying to get him. Ran out of steam there.”

Suárez is the fifth foreign-born driver to win a Cup Series race, and he’s the first to win on all three of NASCAR’s national series. He won the Xfinity Series championship in 2016, and he also won a Truck Series race that year.

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 12: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #99 Onx Homes/Renu Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 12, 2022 in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“I have never met a more determined, focused, a hard-working racer in 20 years in this sport,” Marks said. “It’s amazing how consistent he is, how that fire continues to burn.”

The success of Suárez and Trackhouse Racing could be a welcome boost to a sport eager to expand its cultural footprint. After moving to the U.S. 11 years ago with a desire to race on bigger stages, Suárez is a major success story for NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, which aims to bring new perspectives and backgrounds to a largely monocultural organization for much of its history.

Michael McDowell finished a season-best third in front of Kevin Harvick in cloudy conditions in Sonoma Raceway’s first Cup Series race at full capacity since before the coronavirus pandemic. Austin Cindric was fifth in the final race before the Cup Series’ one-week midseason break.

NEW GUYS

Suárez is the fourth first-time winner of this wide-open Cup Series season, joining Chastain, Cindric, and Chase Briscoe.

CHUTE WORKS

Sonoma Raceway restored the 1.99-mile Chute track layout for this race after using the longer Carousel configuration in the previous two editions in 2019 and 2021. The shorter track didn’t appear to lead to more contact in the racing, and not much happened in the first two stages, which were won by Larson and Joey Logano.

NO REPEAT

Defending champion and pole-sitter Kyle Larson led the first stage, but the defending series champ fell back from there and eventually lost his right front tire with 27 laps to go. Larson started on the pole for the fifth consecutive time at the race closest to his childhood home in the Sacramento suburbs, but his decision not to pit in the first stage left him buried in the field from there. He finished 15th.

UP NEXT

After the break, the season resumes with a trip to Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday, June 26.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Faedo Propels Tigers By Pirates 3-1

Alex Faedo is trying not to get ahead of himself.

Having two years basically taken away from him — first by the COVID-19 pandemic, the second by Tommy John surgery on his right elbow — has taught the Detroit Tigers rookie pitcher a thing or two about patience.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 08: Alex Faedo #49 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 8, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

So even as he breezed through five innings on 82 pitches in what eventually became a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, the 26-year-old didn’t try to talk manager A.J. Hinch into letting him take the mound in the sixth.

The Tigers have a plan for their 2017 first-round pick. It includes meticulously making sure he doesn’t overdo it, no matter how simple he’s made it look during his first seven starts. That meant Faedo’s day was long over before Miguel Cabrera’s go-ahead RBI single in the eighth.

Given the results — both in the game and in his progress — it’s a tradeoff Faedo will take.

“Whatever (the Tigers) think is best for me, I trust them,” Faedo said. “I can only control what I can control, so whenever I’m on the mound, I’m going to try to compete as hard as I can and try to execute as much as I can. Anything besides that is out of my control.”

Faedo surrendered just one run — Jack Suwinski’s leadoff home run in the fourth — on three hits before exiting. It’s become a pattern. He has gone at least five innings and given up two runs or less in each of his first seven major league starts. Only two other pitchers have begun their careers with those types of numbers per the Elias Sports Bureau.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 08: Alex Faedo #49 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 8, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

While Faedo admitted his family has been blowing up his phone with each promising start, he’s trying to keep things in perspective.

“I think for me it just lets me know that I’ve been consistent and giving these guys a chance to win,” he said.

Faedo and four relievers combined on a four-hitter as the Tigers took a quick two-game interleague set from the Pirates.

Harold Castro led off the eighth with a single off Wil Crowe (2-3) and Jonathan Schoop followed with a bloop single to shallow center that Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds appeared to track down. Replays showed that Reynolds trapped the ball. Cabrera stepped in and delivered a sharp single up the middle for his 3,038th career hit to score Castro from second.

Schoop and Austin Meadows had two hits apiece for Detroit. Daz Cameron drove in two runs, the first with an RBI triple in the second and the second with an RBI double in the ninth to provide a little insurance for the Tigers, who bounced back after getting swept by the New York Yankees by taking two taut games from the Pirates in less than 16 hours.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 08: Harold Castro #30 of the Detroit Tigers scores on a RBI single in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 8, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Detroit weathered a rain delay of over two hours to pull out a 5-3 victory on Tuesday. The Tigers kept it going in Wednesday’s matinee to win for the seventh time in 11 games.

Will Vest (1-1) earned the win with a perfect seventh inning. Gregory Soto worked out of a two-out, two-on jam in the ninth to collect his 12th save.

Suwinski’s home run gave him seven on the season, tops among National League rookies, but the Pirates’ offense mustered little else.

“(Faedo) has some good pitches,” Suwinski said. “With his over-the-top delivery, it’s kind of deceiving for some of those breaking balls that are down. That changeup can run away. The heater can play up as well with that over-the-top. He’s got some pretty good stuff.”

The rebuilding Tigers are banking on it.

ANOTHER STEP FOR KELLER

Pirates starter Mitch Keller put together his second straight solid start after returning to the rotation following a brief stint working out of the bullpen.

The 26-year-old gave up Cameron’s triple off the Clemente Wall in the second but otherwise kept Detroit in check, limiting the Tigers to four hits in six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts to trim his ERA to 5.26.

Keller called his time in the bullpen a chance to hit the reset button.

“It’s a lot more of just throwing your nasty stuff more and trying to get guys out whatever way possible,” Keller said. “I think just shifting that mindset … has helped me a lot.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: OF Robbie Grossman (strained neck) homered in a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday night. … LHP Tyler Alexander (left elbow strain) threw two scoreless innings in the same game.

Pirates: RHP Heath Hembree (right calf strain) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Tigers: Are off Thursday before beginning a 10-game homestand on Friday when Toronto visits for a three-game series.

Pirates: Begin an eight-game road trip on Thursday when they visit Atlanta. J.T. Brubaker (0-5, 4.70 ERA) faces Max Fried (5-2, 2.74) in the opener.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Skubal Wins 4th Straight As Tigers Top Pirates 5-3

Tarik Skubal pitched seven steady innings to win his fourth straight decision and Harold Castro hit a two-run single to lead the Detroit Tigers to a rain-delayed 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.

After the start was pushed back more than two hours, Skubal (5-2) gave up three runs and six hits while striking out nine and walking one. The left-hander has worked a career-high seven innings in three consecutive outings and is 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA in his last seven starts.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 07: Tarik Skubal #29 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 7, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old Skubal has emerged as the Tigers’ ace after compiling a 9-16 record with a 4.57 ERA in 39 games — 36 starts — over his first two major league seasons.

“Tarik Skubal is obvious a big piece of trying to push this thing forward,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “It speaks to our minor league people and our (player development) people.

“He’s learned some hard lessons over the last year and a half or so, but for a team that had a rough start to the season, the day he pitches every single time there is a different feel in the clubhouse and that is a signature of a guy who is turning into a very good major league pitcher.”

Castro’s hit, a liner up the middle, capped a three-run fourth that put the Tigers in front 4-1. Touted rookie Spencer Torkelson drove in the first run with a double.

Leadoff hitter Willi Castro, slumping Javier Baez and Tucker Barnhart all had two hits, including doubles, for Detroit. Baez raised his batting average to .205 as he struggles in the first season of a $140 million, six-year contract he signed as a free agent.

Gregory Soto pitched a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 opportunities.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 07: Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 7, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

“Gregory’s outing was so quick, I didn’t even see it,” said Skubal, who was in the clubhouse when Soto took the mound. “I went to get a smoothie and it was over in eight pitches.”

Pittsburgh lefty Jose Quintana (1-3) was rocked for four runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings while striking out five and walking one. He had a 1.73 ERA over his previous seven starts.

“He just didn’t have the execution on the fastball that we’ve seen out of him, and the breaking stuff wasn’t as sharp,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “(Against) a predominately right-handed lineup, he just left balls in the middle (of the plate) and they were able to square them up.”

Pittsburgh rookie Cal Mitchell had two hits, one being a two-run homer to right field in the fourth that drew the Pirates to 4-3. It was just the second home run Skubal has allowed to a left-handed batter in his three-year career.

Barnhart’s RBI double in the eighth gave the Tigers an insurance run.

The Pirates’ Yu Chang doubled home the first run in the second. An inning later, Jonathan Schoop tied it with an RBI double.

Detroit snapped a three-game losing streak. Pittsburgh lost for just the second time in seven games.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 07: Willi Castro #9 celebrates with Jonathan Schoop #7 of the Detroit Tigers after a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 7, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The start was delayed 2 hours, 5 minutes by rain.

“Long day at the ballpark but it’s good to get a win,” Barnhart said.

DOUBLE SWITCH

Skubal was listed as the starting pitcher on the Tigers’ original lineup card.

However, Hinch decided to switch to reliever Wily Peralta about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. During the delay, the Tigers again changed their minds and went back to Skubal.

The thinking behind the original move was because rain was forecast to arrive around the third inning, Hinch did not want to have to potentially remove Skubal from the game early. Once the start was delayed, the Tigers returned to their original plan.

“It was interesting, but it is what it is,” Skubal said. “I was already ready to pitch so (the switch) didn’t really affect me at all.”

SWAGGERTY’S DEBUT

Travis Swaggerty became the seventh Pirates player to make his major league debut this season. Starting in center field, he went 0 for 3.

The Pirates’ first-round draft pick in 2018 was called up Sunday from Triple-A Indianapolis.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: 3B Jeimer Candelario (left shoulder subluxation) was placed on the 10-day injured list and RF Austin Meadows (vertigo) was activated from the IL. The Tigers are hopeful Candelario will be ready to be reinstated June 16, the first day he is eligible. … RHP Casey Mize (sprained right elbow) has been shut down after being unable to throw from 90 feet and will seek additional medical opinions. The first overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft has been out since April 15. … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (strained left ribcage) will make a rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Toledo. … RHP Matt Manning (right shoulder inflammation) has been cleared to resume throwing. … RHP Michael Pineda (fractured right middle finger) threw a bullpen. … RHP Jose Cisnero (right shoulder strain) and OFs Robbie Grossman (neck strain) and Victor Reyes (strained left quad) began rehab assignments with Toledo.

Pirates: LHP Dillon Peters (low back strain) was placed on the 15-day IL and LHP Aaron Fletcher was recalled from Indianapolis. … Double-A Altoona C Henry Davis (fractured left wrist), the first selection in last year’s amateur draft, begin a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Florida Complex League.

UP NEXT

Tigers: Rookie RHP Alex Faedo (1-2, 3.09 ERA) will start Wednesday in the finale of the two-game series. He has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his six career starts.

Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (2-5, 5.77) returned to the rotation May 31 after a brief bullpen stint and beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

 

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Yanks Top Tigers 5-4

Josh Donaldson hit a 10th-inning sacrifice fly, and the New York Yankees came from behind twice to beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Sunday to reach the one-third mark of the season at 39-15, the best in the major leagues in 21 years.

Joey Gallo’s two-run homer in the fifth off overcame an early deficit and the Yankees won for the 10th time in 12 games, completing a three-game sweep of the Tigers and extending their winning streak to six. Their 39-15 record is the winningest after the season’s first third since the 2001 Seattle Mariners were 42-12.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 05: Manager Aaron Boone #17 of the New York Yankees high-fives Josh Donaldson #28 of the New York Yankees after his walk-off sacrifice fly during the tenth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on June 05, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees won 5-4. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

“Just a lot of guys with a hand in the victory again,” manager Aaron Boone said.

Anthony Rizzo tied the score 4-4 in the eighth after he was hit near the left knee by a bounced pitch, stole second, and continued to third when second baseman Jonathan Schoop allowed the ball to bounce of his glove for an error. Rizzo slid home when third Harold

Castro’s high throw on Gleyber Torres’ RBI grounder glanced off Eric Haase’s mitt for another error.

“It’s nice always whenever you can impact a game in a big way,” Rizzo said. “I think our pitching and defense have been outstanding. It just allows all of us to play free and just play baseball.”

With Aaron Judge as the automatic runner in the 10th, Rizzo reached on an infield single off of Gregory Soto (2-3) that Schoop knocked down on the right side of second. Donaldson followed with a drive to the left-field warning track for his 13th big league walk-off, his second this year, and the Yankees’ sixth.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 05: Teammates high-five Josh Donaldson #28 of the New York Yankees after his walk-off sacrifice fly during the tenth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on June 05, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees won 5-4. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

“I’m just trying to find the barrel at that time to be able to get a ball hopefully up in the air,” Donaldson said. “He’s a tough guy to elevate just because he throws 100 (mph), he’s got a nasty slider and he throws a sinker.”

Ending a rare 11:30 a.m. start, Donaldson’s fly ball gave the Yankees their 20th home win 24 games and an MLB-best 23-7 home mark.

“The biggest thing for us to play any time of the day, the eleven-thirty game is tough,” Rizzo said. “We want to dominate at home,” Rizzo said. “The more we dominate here, the more the city is going to buzz, the more the fanbase is going to buzz.

Michael King (3-1) struck out the side in the 10th.

Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. New York ended a streak of five straight games allowing one run or fewer, its most since six in a row from Sept. 24-30, 1978.

Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera had his 245th game of three hits or more and reached four times. His tying single off Miguel Castro in a two-run eighth was his 3,036th hit. Pinch-runner Kody Clemens — son of Roger — scored on Javier Báez’s single under Rizzo’s glove at first for a 4-3 lead.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 05: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers runs to home plate to score on an RBI double hit Javier Baez #28 (not pictured) during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on June 05, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Torres had scored for a 3-2 New York advantage in the seventh when Alex Lange walked DJ LeMahieu with the bases loaded.

Báez hit an RBI double and scored on a single by Daz Cameron as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth.

“They outplayed us at the game, they outexecuted us and they are a winning team,” Detroit manager AJ Hinch said. “At the end of the game, its gets more magnified when you missed some opportunities.”

Detroit starter Rony García allowed Gallo’s homer over four innings against the team who left him unprotected in the 2019 winter meeting draft.

STRUGGLING

Aaron Hicks was 0 for 2 with runners in scoring position, dropping to 4 for 35 RISP this year. … Gallo, hitting .176, was booed when he took a called third strike with the bases loaded in the seventh. Gallo’s homer was his first 13 games, the sixth-longest drought of his big league career.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: 3B Jeimer Candelario (left shoulder) left in the second after trying to make a diving catch on Donaldson’s double. … LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (sprained left ribcage) threw a bullpen session Sunday and could begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Toledo later this week. … OF Austin Meadows (vertigo) homered in a rehab game for Toledo Saturday and could return Tuesday. Meadows has been on the IL since May 16. … RHP Tyler Alexander (sprained left elbow) pitched two innings in Triple-A Toledo Saturday. … OF Robbie Grossman (strained neck) could start a rehab assignment on Tuesday.

Yankees: RHP Jonathan Loáisiga (right shoulder inflammation) is to throw off flat ground for the first time on Monday. … LHP Zack Britton (elbow) threw his first bullpen session Sunday at Tampa, Florida, since Tommy John surgery last Sept. 9.

UP NEXT

Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (4-2, 2.15 ERA) opens a three-game series against Pittsburgh LHP José Quintana (1-2, 2.32) on Tuesday in Detroit.

Yankees: RHP Jameson Taillon (6-1, 2.30), who retired the first 21 hitters Thursday against the Angels, opens a three-game series on Tuesday at Minnesota.

 

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Joey Logano Wins In Overtime At Gateway

Joey Logano watched helplessly as Kyle Busch drove away from him on a late restart Sunday, seemingly ending his hopes of delivering a much-needed win for Team Penske in the NASCAR Cup Series debut at World Wide Technology Raceway.

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 05: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Snickers Toyota, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota, and Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 Rheem Toyota, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 05, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick’s wreck with five laps left gave Logano another chance.

He took advantage of overtime, too, winning a drag race with Busch into the first corner in overtime, then jockeying briefly for the lead, before pulling away to take the white flag and eventually Logano’s second win of the season.

“It doesn’t get much better than that, racing for the lead like that with Kyle, one of the best, crossing each other back and forth,” said Logano, who made it a banner day for Team Penske, which won the IndyCar race with Will Power earlier in the day in Detroit. “I knew it was coming. I did it to him. I knew he was going to do it to me.”

The victory must have felt even sweeter for Team Penske given its recent struggles. In the last five points races, Logano has the only top-10 finish for the entire team with his victory last month at Darlington.

Kurt Busch finished second Sunday with Logano’s teammate, Ryan Blaney, in fourth and Aric Almirola in fifth.

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 05: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with his crew after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 05, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“I’m way out of breath here,” Logano said. “What a great car. Really fast.”

Ross Chastain was fast all day, too; he just couldn’t stop hitting people. He got into Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott at different points in the race, leading both of them to retaliate on the track.

“It was terrible driving,” Chastain said afterward. “It’s one thing to do it once. I kept driving into guys. At this level I have to be better than that. It’s a shame. I had all these people believing in me. They deserve better.”

By the end, Logano had watched Kyle Busch drive away on a restart with 13 laps remaining, only to get a reprieve when Harvick crashed with five to go. That led to a green-white-checkered finish at the 1 1/4-mile hairpin east of St. Louis, where Busch chose the outside lane as Logano drove his No. 22 car to the inside once again.

This time it was Logano that won the race to Turn 1 and moved in front of Busch, who crossed him over and took the lead into the sweeping third and fourth turns. That’s where Logano went low and pulled ahead, gaining the space he needed to pull away when Busch got a little sideways coming out of Turn 4.

“We stayed in the running all day and fought hard,” Logano said, “and thought maybe we could, and that was it.”

The first Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway, nestled just across the Mississippi River from the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis, produced a thrilling throwback to the early years of NASCAR, when tempers in the cars ran just as hot as the temperature outside — it soared over 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun.

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 05: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, and Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 05, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Chastain had a lot to do with it.

The trouble for the eighth-generation watermelon farmer began in Stage 2, when Chastain ran up on Hamlin’s rear coming out of the tight first and second turns and sent the No. 11 into the outside wall.

“I owe half the field an apology and words aren’t going to fix it,” Chastain said. “I’ll have to pay for it on the track.”

Indeed, Hamlin spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get even: He nearly drove Chastain down onto the grass down the back stretch, then slowed to a crawl around the track and nearly kept him from making the minimum speed.

“It’s good he takes responsibility but ultimately it ruined our day,” Hamlin said. “I think we were racing hard there for a while on the inside. He tried to keep sliding up in front of us and wasn’t able to because I wasn’t willing to just back off and let him slide up front. It didn’t take long before he tucked behind us that he wrecked us.”

Hamlin wound up with some support when Chastain got into Elliott’s quarter panel later in the stage, spinning him out. And when the race resumed, Elliott nearly nudged Chastain into the wall before Hamlin took another swipe at him.

All the drama kept a sellout crowd of more than 60,000 on their feet in the blistering afternoon sun. Chastain wound up finishing seventh, Elliott was 21st and Hamlin finished 11 laps down in 34th place.

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 05: Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet, exits the track after the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 05, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

“We all have learned the hard way. We’ve all had it come back around on us,” Hamlin said, “and it’ll be no different.”

FRONT TO BACK

AJ Allmendinger won the Xfinity race Saturday in Portland, Oregon, then flew to St. Louis to start at the rear of the field Sunday. Ben Rhodes was supposed to qualify his No. 15 for Kaulig Racing but crashed in Turn 3 during practice and did not make an attempt. Allmendinger drove through the field to finish 10th.

ZANE-Y DEBUT

Zane Smith, who was ninth in the Truck Series race Saturday, made his Cup Series debut in place of Chris Buescher, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. Smith drove the No. 17 to a 17th-place finish for RFK Racing.

MILESTONE MOMENT

Martin Truex Jr. became the 32nd driver to make 600 starts in the Cup Series when he took the green flag. His first came at Atlanta on Oct. 31, 2004, for Dale Earnhardt Inc. The 2017 series champion finished sixth in Sunday’s race.

UP NEXT

The Cup Series heads to the road course at Sonoma in California’s wine country next Sunday before taking a week off.

 

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Surging Tigers Beat Twins 3-2

The Detroit Tigers are suddenly playing like the relevant team they were expected to be after aggressively making moves in the offseason.

Daz Cameron hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the surging Tigers held on to beat the slumping Minnesota Twins 3-2 Thursday.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 02: Daz Cameron #41 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates his two run home run in the eighth inning with Willi Castro #9 while playing the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 02, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Cameron’s 416-foot shot to left-center off Emilio Pagan (1-2) scored Eric Haase, who hit a one-out single for the Tigers.

Detroit has won seven of its last nine games to make up some ground as the fourth-place team in the AL Central after a 14-28 start.

“This is what we expected to do this season because we have a ton of talent, and filled a lot of voids with a totally different team,” Haase said. “We’re starting to find our stride and to do that with only one starting pitcher that we broke camp with is impressive.”

Jonathan Schoop has had a lot to do with the Tigers’ turnaround, hitting an RBI single in the first inning of the series finale to account for seven of their 10 runs over two-plus games.

Cameron lifted Detroit to its fourth win in the five-game series against Minnesota by clearing the fences in spacious Comerica Park with a shot that even center fielder Byron Buxton seemed to know he had no chance to catch.

“When he stopped running, the center fielder for them, I knew it was gone,” Detroit shortstop Harold Castro said.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 02: Harold Castro #30 of the Detroit Tigers prepares to bat in the first inning while playing the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 02, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Alex Lange (3-1) gave up two walks and struck out one in the pivotal eighth inning and Gregory Soto closed for his 10th save.

AL Central-leading Minnesota, the division’s only team with a winning record, has lost seven of 10.

“Every team goes through a stretch where the schedule gets tough,” Pagan said. “Everybody is banged up. It seems like, across the league, there are a lot of injuries right now. We’re not the only ones going through it.”

After getting shut out the previous two games, the Twins did finally score in Detroit.

Gio Urshela’s RBI double, which brought Nick Gordon home after he singled, in the third ended a 22-inning scoreless streak. Gordon hit a go-ahead double in the fourth inning, but the Twins could not keep a 2-1 advantage.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 02: Trevor Larnach #13 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates scoring a run in the fourth inning while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on June 02, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“We did a lot of things good,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’ve just got to expand the lead when we get it.”

FOR STARTERS

Minnesota’s Chris Archer gave up one run on three hits. Detroit’s Alex Faedo allowed two runs on five hits and two walks.

BENCHED BAEZ

The Tigers gave SS Javier Baez a second straight day off to reset physically and mentally. Baez, who signed a six-year deal for $140 million deal in December, has his lowest batting average (.197) since he was a Chicago Cubs rookie in 2014 and has just three homers and 13 RBIs in 40 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: RHP Sonny Gray, pulled from his last start, went on the 15-day injured list with a strained chest muscle. … OF Gilberto Celestino, who went on the COVID-19 list last Friday, tested negative for two straight days and is expected to join the team for its upcoming series in Toronto.

Tigers: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, on the IL with a rib sprain since May 22, will join the team on its upcoming road trip and expects to pitch for Triple-A Toledo within a week. … OF Austin Meadows, on the IL with since May 16, has not had vertigo symptoms recently and feels great, according to manager A.J. Hinch.

UP NEXT

Twins: Open a three-game series at Toronto on Friday night, when RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez is expected to make his Minnesota debut against Blue Jays LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.48 ERA).

Tigers: Hit the road for a three-game set with the New York Yankees on Friday night with Detroit RHP Elvin Rodriguez (0-0, 6.17) and New York RHP Gerrit Cole (4-1, 3.12) scheduled to pitch.

 

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Skubal Shuts Down The Twins

Tarik Skubal allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings in Detroit Tigers’ 5-0 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 01: Tarik Skubal #29 of the Detroit Tigers throws a first inning pitch while playing the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 01, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“It was like playing a video game for me,” Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “It’s pretty easy when he’s going like that. You just make sure you sequence the pitches and let him do his things.”

Jonathan Schoop, who is hitting .438 with a home run and six RBIs in the five-game series against his former team, drove in two of Detroit’s runs.

“The ball is finally falling for me,” said Schoop, who came into the series hitting .173. “That’s about all that has changed. I’ve made some good contact, but a lot of it is just having the ball land in the right place.”

The Tigers have won three of four in the series that concludes Thursday, including back-to-back shutouts, and six of eight overall.

“We needed to start playing this well a long time ago, but I think hopefully in this last couple of weeks we’ve seen ourselves take a step forward in a couple different areas,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’re not perfect, but when we have a bad game, I’ve liked the resilience in this group.”

Skubal (4-2) walked one and struck out six to improve to 3-0 with a 1.22 ERA in his last six starts.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 01: Will West #19 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates a 5-0 win over the Minnesota Twins with Tucker Barnhart #15 at Comerica Park on June 01, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“I think a lot of this is all Tuck,” Skubal said of his catcher. “He does such a great job of reading the hitters and understanding what I need to throw. I just get the sign and throw it, honestly. I imagine he’s having fun calling the games.”

The game took two hours and 13 minutes, the shortest of the season for both teams.

“I’m just trying to get my defense back to the dugout and let them hit again,” Skubal said. “My college coach said you can’t get hit in the dugout, so that’s what I’m always trying to do.”

Minnesota’s Bailey Ober (1-2) allowed five runs on nine hits in six innings.

“I left too many off-speed pitches over the middle of the plate instead of putting them away in the outer half of the zone,” Ober said. “They ended up getting hit. That’s what happens here.”

The Twins haven’t scored in 20 innings.

“I’ve been happy with our offense as a whole this year, but we talk about everyone needing to step up when the time comes,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’re at one of those points right now. We need guys to come in.”

Schoop drove in all four runs in Detroit’s win in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. On Wednesday, he had an RBI single in the first inning.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 01: Jonathan Schoop #7 of the Detroit Tigers hits a first inning RBI single in front of Ryan Jeffers #27 of the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 01, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Jeimer Candelario led off the fifth with a triple and scored on Tucker Barnhart’s single off second baseman Jorge Polanco’s glove. Harold Castro made it 4-0 with a two-out double later in the inning, and Schoop followed with a ground-rule double to make it a five-run lead.

“The whole night started with Jonathan making a two-strike adjustment and getting a simple single up the middle,” Hinch said. “You don’t have to be a superhero, you just have to be a productive player. All of a sudden, it’s 1-0 and that set the table for the night.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: Rookie starter Joey Wentz was undergoing tests after leaving Tuesday’s second game with a shoulder strain. Because Wentz was the 27th player for the doubleheader, any injury would result in him being placed on the minor-league injured list.

Twins: RHP Sonny Gray played long-toss catch for the second straight day, and Baldelli said he is improving. The team has still not made a final decision about placing him on the injured list.

UP NEXT

The teams finish the five-game series Thursday afternoon, with Detroit’s Alex Faedo (1-2, 3.00) facing Minnesota’s Chris Archer (0-2, 4.19).

 

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Tigers Split With Twins

Jonathan Schoop homered and drove in four runs as the Detroit Tigers, with Kody Clemens making his major league debut while his famous father watched from a suite, beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 Tuesday night to split a doubleheader.

“I had so much fun today,” Clemens said. “It was awesome.”

DETROIT, MI – MAY 31: Kody Clemens #21 of the Detroit Tigers talks with his father Roger Clemens following his major league debut in Game Two of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on May 31, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens saw his 26-year-old son go 0 for 3, striking out twice and drawing a walk. Flawless in the field at second base, Kody Clemens handled a grounder for the final out of the game.

“He’s worked really hard to get here and it finally happened for him,” Roger Clemens said between games. “I think some PGA golfers are wearing heart monitors now – I’d love to see his heart rate right now.”

Max Kepler had three hits and drove in three runs and Gary Sanchez hit a three-run homer to help the Twins to an 8-2 win in the first game.

In the second game, Schoop hit a two-run homer in the first inning and added a two-run single off second baseman Jorge Polanco’s glove.

“I hit that first ball hard, but the second one was just luck,” he said. “I hit it at the second baseman and it took a massive bounce sideways.”

Schoop is Detroit’s everyday second baseman, but served as the designated hitter so Clemens could start at his natural position.

DETROIT, MI – MAY 31: Second baseman Kody Clemens #21 of the Detroit Tigers warms up for the second inning of Game Two of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on May 31, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

“I had no problem with that – I’m happy to do whatever they need,” he said. “(Clemens) was really calm out there, just like he’s always been. He’s been around baseball since he was a kid, so he knows how to handle this.”

Tigers starter Joey Wentz, making his second major league appearance, allowed just one hit in four innings, but left with a shoulder strain while pitching to the first batter of the fifth inning.

“He didn’t feel a thing until the fifth, but then he had a little strain — almost more in his neck – when he was warming up,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We could see right away that his velocity was down, so we got out there. He’ll have the battery of tests tomorrow.”

Reliever Wily Peralta (2-0) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Five Tigers pitchers combined on the three-hit shutout.

“We had a plan — we wanted to get on top of some fastballs, especially early in the game,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We weren’t able to do that, and we couldn’t force them out over the plate.”

“It was a long day at the ballpark. We wanted to get two wins and we ended up with one,” he said.

Minnesota starter Cole Sands (0-1) allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in four innings.

DETROIT, MI – MAY 31: Cole Sands #77 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning of Game Two of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on May 31, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Devin Smeltzer (2-0) was the winner in the first game, giving up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Rony Garcia (0-1) allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings.

Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run double by Trevor Larnach, and the Twins added four more runs in the third.

Byron Buxton led off with a single — his first hit in 24 at-bats against Detroit this season — and scored on Kepler’s double.

Polanco singled, and with one out Sanchez hit his sixth a three-run homer to left for his sixth homer of the season.

DETROIT, MI – MAY 31: Jermaine Palacios #87 of the Minnesota Twins hits a grounder to shortstop Javier Baez of the Detroit Tigers, who misplays the ball and is given an error, during the seventh inning of Game One of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on May 31, 2022, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Miguel Cabrera singled — career hit No. 3,030 — and scored in the fourth to make it 6-1, but Kepler added a two-run single in the seventh.

Daz Cameron ended Smeltzer’s day with an RBI double in the seventh.

Tigers rookie Spencer Torkelson had his second straight three-hit game in the opener.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Twins: Shortstop Carlos Correa was placed on the COVID-19 list and replaced by infielder Jermaine Palacios, who made his major league debut in the first game. Kepler returned after missing Monday’s game with a sore quadriceps. … Sonny Gray (shoulder) played long-toss catch and is scheduled to do the same Wednesday.

Tigers: Cabrera started the opener after sitting out two games with back stiffness.

UP NEXT

In the fourth game of a five-game series, RHP Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.25) starts for the Twins against LHP Tarik Skubal (3-2, 2.44) on Wednesday night.

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Detroit Pistons To Play Regular Season Game Against Chicago Bulls In Paris

(CBS DETROIT) — The Detroit Pistons will take its game to Paris against the Chicago Bulls, the NBA announced Tuesday.

NBA officials this will be the Pistons’ first time playing in France. They previously played in London and Mexico City. Officials say it is also the first NBA game in Europe since 2020 and the league’s 12th game in France since 1991.

The Detroit #Pistons are headed to Paris! 🇫🇷

We'll face the Chicago Bulls on January 19, 2023 at the Accor Arena in Paris, France. Learn more about #NBAParis: https://t.co/GbzkvKfwjS pic.twitter.com/GFRWLkOIHB

— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) May 24, 2022

“The Detroit Pistons organization is excited to take on the Chicago Bulls and play our first-ever game in France. Playing a regular-season game in Paris will be a great experience for our players and coaches and we look forward to showcasing Detroit Basketball to an international audience,” Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver said in a statement.

The NBA Paris Game 2023 is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2023. Tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Anyone interested in tickets can register and gain access to presale information at NBAEvents.com/ParisGame.

© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Faedo Gets First Big League Win

Rookie Alex Faedo allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings for his first major league win and Miguel Cabrera had an RBI double as the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-2 on Sunday.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – MAY 22: Starting pitcher Alex Faedo #49 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Faedo (1-1) struck out two in his fourth appearance since being called up from Triple-A Toledo on May 4. The right-hander missed all of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and began this season at Class A Lakeland.

“You’re only going to get your first win once, so you’ve got to celebrate it,” said Faedo, whose teammates gave him a laundry cart ride into the shower. “It was a good time. I got hit with a lot of baby powder, ketchup via (Tarik) Skubal, all sorts of liquids.”

Cabrera’s double in the first inning scored Robbie Grossman and was the 603rd of his career, tying Cal Ripken Jr. for 16th all-time. It also was hit No. 3,022, one short of Lou Brock in the 28th spot.

Detroit took a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Tucker Barnhart scored on an error by first baseman Josh Naylor. Grossman hit a sharp grounder that went under Naylor’s glove, allowing Barnhart to come around from second.

“When we got the lead, I felt like I had to hold it,” Faedo said. “It’s a prestigious thing to be up here in the majors. I understand that.”

Javier Báez added a solo homer in the eighth for the Tigers, who snapped a three-game skid and are 5-4 since falling a season-low 14 games below .500 on May 12. Gregory Soto pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – MAY 22: Javier Baez #28 of the Detroit Tigers hits a solo homer during the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on May 22, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

“With Miggy and me, you’ve got to show the experience you’ve got to help the team,” Báez said. “The support of my teammates has been pretty important.”

Guardians righty Shane Bieber (1-3) struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings, giving up six hits and three runs, two of them earned. The 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner has not won since April 20 against the White Sox, six starts ago.

Naylor homered in the fourth and Owen Miller had an RBI single in the first. Cleveland did not record a hit in the final 3 2/3 innings against four Detroit relievers, losing for the sixth time in its last eight games.

“I was able to find my rhythm early, but I felt like there is a lot more there,” Bieber said. “It’s frustrating because the team lost, but you’ve got to take the good and the bad and go forward.”

Daz Cameron had an RBI single and made the play of the day for the Tigers, robbing Amed Rosario of a potential two-run homer in the fifth. Cameron snow-coned the ball at the yellow line atop the wall in center, then turned it into a double play at first base.

“He smacked it pretty well and after I read the ball, I realized I had a pretty good chance,” Cameron said. “I just went up and got it.”

CLEVELAND, OHIO – MAY 22: Catcher Tucker Barnhart #15 celebrates with closing pitcher Gregory Soto #65 of the Detroit Tigers after the Tigers defeated the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on May 22, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Tigers defeated the Guardians 4-2. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The first pitch was delayed by 20 minutes due to light rain. The teams’ scheduled game Saturday was postponed because of thunderstorms and will be made up on July 14.

MANAGER MANIA

Guardians manager Terry Francona and Tigers counterpart A.J. Hinch were back in their respective dugouts after missing the series opener Friday for medical reasons. Francona underwent a minor procedure, while Hinch fell ill and remained at the team hotel.

“I still don’t feel good, so personally, the rainout yesterday was the best thing ever,” Hinch said. “I was in bed by 6 p.m. and slept well.”

Cleveland coaches Sandy Alomar Jr., Mike Sarbaugh and Joe Torres also rejoined the team after clearing MLB’s health and safety protocols for COVID-19.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Tarik Skubal (lower left leg bruise), who was struck by a liner off the bat of Ernie Clement in the fifth inning Friday, will be given an extra day before making his next start. “The injury isn’t a major concern, but he is sore,” Hinch said.

Guardians: RHP Aaron Civale (left gluteal cramp) will not require a stint on the injured list, but is likely to be pushed back in the rotation. Civale fell awkwardly while pursuing a ground ball on Friday, forcing him to leave after 6 1/3 innings.

UP NEXT

Tigers: RHP Elvin Rodríguez (0-0, 13.50 ERA) is scheduled to make his first major league start Monday at Minnesota. He worked 2 2/3 innings in his April 10 debut against the White Sox.

Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (2-3, 2.97 ERA) takes the mound Monday at Houston. The 6-foot-5, 165-pounder is 2-1 in three May starts, striking out 17 over 19 1/3 innings with a 2.33 ERA.

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Rays Win 6-1

Isaac Paredes homered twice against his former teammates to double his career big league total, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 6-1 Wednesday on an afternoon Eduardo Rodriguez left in the first inning and headed to the injured list.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 18: Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Detroit Tigers exits the game with trainer Doug Teter during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 18, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Rodriguez (1-3) lasted just one out and averaged 91.9 mph for his fastball, 2.4 mph below his season average. He left the mound with Tigers head athletic trainer Doug Teter.

“His left side is bothersome,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It got worse during his warmup. He tried to go out there, and you could tell he was off. He’ll be out for a bit. Likely IL.”

Rodriguez allowed three runs, four hits, and two walks, throwing just 11 of 23 pitches for strikes. After signing a $77 million, five-year contract, he has a 4.38 ERA.

Among the Tiger’s rotation at the start of the season, Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tyler Alexander already have spent time on the IL.

“Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us,” Hinch said. “We’ve got to play better. We’ve got to hit better. We’ve got to play more up-tempo. We’ve got to get in the strike zone. I could keep going for a while. We’ve got a lot more to do than piecing together the rotation.”

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 18: Drew Rasmussen #57 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch to the Detroit Tigers in the second inning at Tropicana Field on May 18, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Drew Rasmussen (4-1) allowed four hits in five shutout innings with seven strikeouts and no walks, improving to 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his last five starts. Matt Wisler, Colin Poche and J.P. Feyereisen finished, with Feyereisen striking out two in the ninth during his 15th straight scoreless appearance.

Paredes, traded by the Tigers for Austin Meadows on April 5, hit solo home runs in the third off Rony García and in the eighth against Wily Peralta.

“After the first one, I heard guys in the bullpen saying some things,” Paredes said through a translator. “But after the second one, I don’t think they wanted to say anything.”

Paredes hit one home run each in 2020 and 2021 for the Tigers.

“Like I’ve said before, I want to beat them. I want to play against them,” he said. “But I’m just giving 100% of the skill that I have, and I’m just very fortunate to be here and have the opportunity to be able to play against them.”

Yandy Díaz had three of the 11 hits by the Rays, who won for the fifth time in seven games.

Spencer Torkelson homered in the seventh off Wisler and has a team-high four home runs for the Tigers, who have hit a major league-low 20 homers in 38 games.

Tampa Bay’s first five batters reached. Díaz, Wander Franco, and Harold Ramírez loaded the bases with singles, Randy Arozarena walked on four pitches and Francisco Mejía hit a two-run single for a 3-0 lead.. After another walk, Rodriguez was replaced by García.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 18: Isaac Paredes #17 of the Tampa Bay Rays follows the ball after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field on May 18, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The three-run inning made it easy for Rasmussen.

“It really let me settle down and just work in the strike zone,” he said. “My goal today was to get back into my pitch count after the first (inning). Because we scored so much so early, it was easier to do that.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Jose Cisnero, on the 60-day IL all season with a right shoulder strain, is scheduled for a bullpen session this week.

Rays: RHP Phoenix Sanders (low back spasms) was reinstated from the 15-day IL and optioned to Triple-A Durham.

UP NEXT

Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (3-2, 2.50) will try to win his third straight start in Friday’s opener of a three-game series at Cleveland.

Rays: LHP Ryan Yarbrough (0-0, 4.91) will make his fourth start of the season Friday night at Baltimore.

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Orlando Wins lottery, Pistons Pick 5th

The Magic won the lottery Tuesday night and landed the top overall pick for the first time since they got Dwight Howard in 2004.

“We’re all just rooting for our team and hoping that number pops up the right way,” Weltman said. “But teams are built on these breaks.”

13 DEC 1995: ORLANDO SHAQUILLE O”NEAL WATCHES FROM THE SIDELINE DURING FIRST QUARTER OF THE MAGIC’S GAME VERSUS THE CHICAGO BULLS AT THE UNITED CENTER IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/ALLSPORT

The Magic got a huge one, with lottery luck striking the franchise for the fourth time. Orlando also won in back-to-back years in 1992 and 1993, taking Shaquille O’Neal and then trading the rights to Chris Webber for Penny Hardaway.

The Magic finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 22-60 in their first season under Mosley and missed the playoffs for the eighth time in 10 years. But they got a huge win in the lottery, where they had a 14% chance of landing the top pick.

“These are hard seasons when you’re not winning and that takes a lot out of you and you have to carry your belief in your team and your players and the organization through,” Weltman said. “So when you get a break, it helps, and that’s how teams are built. So tonight is a good night for us.”

Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, and Auburn’s Jabari Smith are widely considered the most likely candidates to be taken first. The draft is June 23 in New York.

Oklahoma City got the second pick, followed by Houston and Sacramento. The Kings moved up from the No. 7 spot entering the lottery.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 16: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons shoots the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 16, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Detroit picks fifth, with Indiana, Portland, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Washington rounding out the top 10. The rest of the lottery results are New York, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, and Cleveland.

The lottery, with 14 ping pong balls numbered 1 through 14 placed into a hopper, sets the first four picks. The remainder of the non-playoff teams goes in reverse order of their finish.

Houston, Orlando, and Detroit had the best odds of winning the lottery at 14%. All three had young teams that finished at the bottom of the NBA, with the Magic having 2021 lottery picks Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner on their roster.

“It feels great,” Weltman said. “I’m so happy for our fans. They really stuck with us. And nights like this help, where you can really show the fruits of why you go through these phases and these cycles. And hopefully, they’re really excited by this.”

The Magic are committed to building through the draft after trading veterans Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon in March 2021 for first-round draft picks in 2023 and 2025. But they were missing two of the young players they are trying to build around last season with Jonathan Issac and Markelle Fultz recovering from knee injuries.

With the No. 1 pick and a new practice facility set to open in a few weeks, the Magic have some things going for them at the moment.

Banchero, Holmgren, and Smith decided to turn pro after one college season while Ivey spent two years at Purdue.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – APRIL 02: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the second half of the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal at Caesars Superdome on April 02, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The 6-foot-10, 250-pound Banchero was viewed as a likely one-and-done player before he arrived at Duke from Seattle as part of a talented recruited class. He lived up to it, helping the Blue Devils reach now-retired coach Mike Krzyzewski’s record 13th Final Four before losing to archrival North Carolina.

With his strength and perimeter skills, Banchero averaged 17.2 points and 7.8 rebounds. He scored 20 or more 15 times while failing to reach double figures only twice in 39 games.

Holmgren, a 7-footer with the ability to pass and handle the ball like a guard, was one of the most highly touted recruits ever for Gonzaga. He was the West Coast Conference newcomer of the year, defensive player of the year, and a first-team all-conference selection. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks per game, and was a third-team AP All-American.

Smith also lived up to his billing as one of the top recruits ever for Auburn. The Tigers earned their first No. 1 ranking and spent three weeks in the top spot. The 6-10, 220-pounder from Fayetteville, Georgia, was a second-team, All-American and the SEC freshman of the year. He led Auburn in scoring, averaging 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. Smith was also the Tigers’ top 3-point shooter after making 79 of 188 attempts (43%).

The rest of the first round is slotted this way: Charlotte at No. 15, followed by Atlanta, Houston (from Brooklyn through the James Harden trade), Chicago, Minnesota, San Antonio, Toronto, Denver, Memphis, Philadelphia (may be conveyed to Brooklyn), Milwaukee, San Antonio, Dallas, Miami, Golden State, Memphis, and Oklahoma City.

 

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Rays Beat Tigers 8-1

Kevin Kiermaier, Brett Phillips, and Randy Arozarena homered and drove in two runs each, Shane McClanahan struck out seven in seven innings and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 8-1 on Tuesday night.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 17: Brett Phillips #35 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field on May 17, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Ji-Man Choi also drove in two runs for the Rays, who broke Detroit’s four-game winning streak before an announced crowd of just 8,475, Tampa Bay’s lowest at home since April 29.

“It’s always a treat to see,” said McClanahan of the Rays’ three-homer, 11-hit offense. “When those guys are firing on all cylinders, it’s awesome. It’s special. … It’s truly fun to be a part of.”

Tampa Bay, which scored 19 runs in its eight previous games, said earlier Tuesday that Brandon Lowe had joined Manny Margot with a significant injury.

“No doubt we’ve been a little inconsistent to start the season, but this game is really tough,” said Kiermaier, who raised his average to .200 with three hits. “It seems like pitchers get better year after year and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. It’s crazy how quickly you can dig yourselves into a hole offensively, but you try to make adjustments as the season goes along.”

Jeimer Candelario hit a 430-foot homer off McClanahan in the fifth, his third homer of the season.

Kiermaier’s fourth homer led off the second against Beau Brieske, giving the Rays a 2-0 lead.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 17: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits a solo home run in the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field on May 17, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

McClanahan (3-2) breezed through three perfect innings on 27 pitches before giving up an infield single to Robbie Grossman. McClanahan allowed one run on four hits.

“He has gotten so much batter from last year to this year and it seems like he gets better every start,” Kiermaier observed. “I knew he was dangerous before but he’s got to be a top-three pitcher in the game. What he’s doing right now is incredible. He’s pitching with a lot of confidence and he should be.”

Phillips homered for the second straight night, leading off the fifth with his fourth this season. Arozarena, who had 10 homers in the 2020 postseason, hit just his second homer of the season off Will Vest in the eighth. It came in his 148th plate appearance.

“I’ve been struggling a little bit. I’ve had a slow start this year but I think I’m getting better as of late,” Arozarena said through a translator. “I’m glad I was able to connect on that. It felt pretty good.”

“I was happy to see Randy smile, he’s had some rough luck here lately,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Brieske (0-3) gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out four in his fifth big league start.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 17: Beau Brieske #63 of the Detroit Tigers throws a pitch during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 17, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Grossman had two of Detroit’s seven hits. including a ninth-inning single that loaded the bases with nobody out, but the Tigers did not score.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Michael Pineda will not need surgery on his fractured right middle finger, which will be placed in a splint for two-to-three weeks and then be re-evaluated..

Rays: Lowe is likely to miss at least a month after being diagnosed with a stress reaction in his lower back. Lowe will be kept out of baseball activity for three weeks before a timeline can be established for his return.

UP NEXT

LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 3.72) will pitch Wednesday’s series finale for Detroit against RHP Drew Rasmussen (3-1, 2.67).

 

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Tigers Top Rays 3-2 For 4th Straight

Harold Castro hit his first home run of the year with two outs in the ninth inning, a tiebreaking shot that sent the Detroit Tigers past the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Monday night for their season-best fourth straight victory.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 16: Jonathan Schoop #7 of the Detroit Tigers hits a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 16, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

“I know I’m not a home run hitter. I was just trying to make contact and get on base, but it’s amazing to help your team win,” Castro said.

He connected off Andrew Kittredge (3-1) for his first long ball since going deep in consecutive games against Oakland in early September last year.

“It wasn’t a terrible pitch by any means. A good piece of hitting,” Rays catcher Mike Zunino said. “He may have wanted to get it a little further in but … you just have to tip your cap.”

The versatile Castro, who plays all over the field, had three home runs in 2021.

“You don’t see that out of Harold a lot, but … Harold’s got power,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He said last year, ‘I could hit a homer whenever I want to.’ Looked like he wanted to.”

Michael Fulmer (2-2) got the win in relief and Gregory Soto pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven tries.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 16: Gregory Soto #65 and Tucker Barnhart #15 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 at Tropicana Field on May 16, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Jonathan Schoop hit a two-run homer that put Tigers rookie Alex Faedo in position for his first major league win, but Brett Phillips helped the Rays erase their 2-0 deficit with a home run in the sixth and a leadoff double against Fulmer in the eighth.

Phillips scored on Wander Franco’s sacrifice fly to tie it.

Faedo, a first-round draft choice in 2017 who did not pitch in 2020 or 2021 because of the pandemic and Tommy John surgery, tossed 5 2/3 innings in his third career start. He gave up one run and four hits, striking out four.

“I thought I commanded better,” Faedo said. “I know that one got away from me that Phillips hit a long way. But overall I definitely thought my execution was good and my misses weren’t over the heart of the plate, which is a huge thing.”

Schoop hit his third homer off Rays starter Corey Kluber, giving Detroit a 2-0 lead after Miguel Cabrera’s leadoff single in the fourth.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 16: Miguel Cabrera #24 and Jonathan Schoop #7 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate after scoring in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 16, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Phillips had three of Tampa Bay’s six hits from the No. 9 spot in the batting order. The home run was his third of the season.

“With (Brandon) Lowe and now Manny (Margot) out, we have to have guys step up, and we can’t always depend on doing it late,” Phillips said. “We’ve all got to step up with guys out, that’s just the reality of it. Good teams get production from 1 through 9.”

Kluber allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out eight, including five in a row.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: OF Austin Meadows (vertigo) and OF Victor Reyes (left quad strain) were placed on the 10-day injured list. OF Daz Cameron was recalled from Triple-A Toledo and will be in the lineup Tuesday. … RHP Michael Pineda (fractured right middle finger) visited a doctor to determine a course of treatment. … RHP Matt Manning (sore shoulder) will pitch for Toledo on a rehab assignment Wednesday.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe went on the IL with lower back discomfort. INF Isaac Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Durham.

FAEDO BACK HOME

It was an unforgettable start for Faedo, who pitched at Alonso High School in Tampa. His dad, Landy, coached Rays manager Kevin Cash at Gaither High School in Tampa.

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – MAY 16: Alex Faedo #49 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch to the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Tropicana Field on May 16, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

“It was a dream come true, for sure. I’ve seen a ton of games here,” the 26-year-old right-hander said. “It’s a really good ballclub over there, and I felt like I could hear the support of the crowd. It’s home, too, so it was a really special moment.”

UP NEXT

RHP Bo Brieske (0-2, 3.86 ERA) makes his fifth start for the Tigers against LHP Shane McClanahan (2-2, 2.52) on Tuesday night.

 

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Skubal Strikes Out 11 As Tigers Top Orioles

Miguel Cabrera blasted his 505th career home run, Tarik Skubal equaled his career-high with 11 strikeouts, and the Detroit Tigers completed their first series sweep this season by defeating the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Sunday.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – MAY 15: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates hitting a home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the bottom of the second inning at Comerica Park on May 15, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

Cabrera had two hits, scored two runs, and knocked in two more for the Tigers, who have won three straight. Harold Castro added three hits, a run scored, and two RBIs.

Cabrera has a six-game hitting streak, batting .500 in that span.

“Clearly, he’s been a spark for us,” said manager A.J. Hinch, who celebrated his 48th birthday. “He’s swinging at strikes, he’s getting into good counts and he’s driving the ball.”

Skubal (3-2) lasted six innings, limiting Baltimore to three hits and two walks.

“I felt like I did a good job at getting to two strikes and then being able to execute a pitch with two strikes,” Skubal said. “Strikeouts come (and go), I’m not really going to be focused on that but it’s good to get to two strikes and then get guys out in those counts.”

Skubal was feeling a little under the weather, but it didn’t show while he overpowered Baltimore’s lineup.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – MAY 15: Tarik Skubal #29 of the Detroit Tigers talks with Tucker Barnhart #15 of the Detroit Tigers against the Baltimore Orioles during the top of the sixth inning at Comerica Park on May 15, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

“He’s been on the attack from the first pitch of the at-bat for a majority of the season,” catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “He’s able to control his fastball in locations that are very effective for him. He’s off to such a great start and he’s been a blast to catch. Just hope he can keep it going.”

Relievers Jacob Barnes and Rony Garcia worked the final three innings for the Tigers as the Orioles struck out a season-worst 16 times. Trey Mancini’s homer off Garcia in the ninth prevented Baltimore from being shut out in back-to-back games.

“I thought Skubal was really good. We’ve seen him before and pitched well against us last year as well,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “We had a tough time making contact against him.”

Baltimore starter Tyler Wells (1-3) allowed three runs on eight hits in four-plus innings.

“He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been the last few times out,” Hyde said.

Cabrera gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the second when clubbed Wells’ 0-1 fastball over the left-center field wall. The Tigers added another run in the inning on Castro’s RBI single.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – MAY 15: Javier Baez #28 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates after scoring a run against the Baltimore Orioles during the bottom of the third inning at Comerica Park on May 15, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The Tigers took a three-run lead in the third. Javier Báez lined a one-out double, advanced on an infield single, and scored on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.

Barnhart singled in a run in the seventh and Castro added an RBI single in the eighth.

ROSTER MOVES

Tigers RHP Michael Pineda was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right middle finger fracture. Pineda was struck by a line drive during his start on Saturday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: SS Jorge Mateo was removed for a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning. He collided with Detroit 1B Spencer Torkelson in the second inning and was diagnosed with left shoulder and chest contusions. X-rays were negative. … OF Austin Hays (hand) was not in the lineup for the third consecutive game.

Tigers: OF Victor Reyes, who was reinstated from the 10-day injured list prior to the game after recovering from a left quad strain, was removed in the second inning with a right quad strain. … RF Austin Meadows, who has been battling an inner ear infection, departed after the first inning. Hinch said both players will be placed on the IL.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Kyle Bradish (1-1, 4.24 ERA) will start against the New York Yankees on Monday as Baltimore opens a seven-game homestand. The rookie got his first major-league victory on Tuesday, striking out 11 in seven innings at St. Louis.

Tigers: RHP Alex Faedo (0-1, 3.60 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay on Monday. The rookie has made two starts, including a five-inning stint against Oakland on Tuesday in which he gave up two runs and struck out seven.

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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