Detroit Tigers rally behind Guardians 5-3, sweep doubleheader
Jonathan Schoop walked into the Comerica Park clubhouse on Monday morning amid a prolonged crisis.
He left feeling like one of the best hitters in baseball, after the best 12 hours of his season.
After a perfect 4-for-4 day in Game 1, Schoop picked up where he left off in Game 2, going 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
It boosted the offense early before RIley Greene drove the go-ahead in the sixth inning and Eric Haase hit a solo shot in the seventh, powering the Tigers to a 5-3 win and a double-header sweep.
The Tigers are now 32-47 this season.
Schoop started the scoring early, leading the third inning with a double against the wall for his fifth hit in as many at bats that day. After advancing to third on a ground ball from Victor Reyes on the right side, Greene came to home plate.
The rookie hit a helicopter with one out to second baseman Andres Gimenez, Schoop immediately broke for the flat and used a light textbook hook around the outside of the plate to beat Sandy Leon’s tag.
With the way Alex Faedo was throwing early, that early lead was pretty good for the Tigers.
After three tough outings in a row for Faedo, the rookie making the 11th start of his career, went through three innings, needing just 40 pitches while scattering one hit and one walk.
Then, the fourth round arrived.
Faedo allowed an opening walk from Amed Rosario, followed by a Jose Ramirez single, a Franmil Reyes double, an Andres Gimenez fly sack and an Owen Miller single.
All of a sudden, a one-point lead became a two-point deficit. He wouldn’t get out of frame.
After prompting a pop-up for two outs, the 26-year-old threw back-to-back walks to eight and nine batters – Sandy Leon and Oscar Mercado – prompting a visit to the mound from manager AJ Hinch and assistant athletic trainer Matt Rankin.
Faedo threw a couple of practice throws, before being pulled with pain in his right hip, according to the team.
Tyler Alexander arrived with the bases loaded and asked Steven Kwan to line up center with the bases loaded and avoid any further damage.
The Tigers received a gift late in the fourth as they began to claw their way back. Eric Haase started the inning with a little league pop-up in front of the mound, as starter Konnor Pilkington and receiver Sandy Leon converged.
The two nearly collided before the ball bounced off Pilkington’s glove and rolled to the backstop, allowing Haase to go all the way to second base.
After Spencer Torkelson failed on a 104.6mph shot, Harold Castro beat an infield single that was overturned after initially being called to the field.
It brought up Jonathan Schoop, with runners on the corners, who singled – his sixth straight hit – to tackle Haase and cut the lead in half. Reyes followed with a choice of defenders, tackling Castro, to tie the game at three.
This is how the contest would stay until the sixth. Torkelson led the inning with a single, followed by a strikeout from Castro and a line from Schoop – which he hit at 105.6 mph.
Reyes threw a 3-2 fastball to right field to advance Torkelson to third base, before Greene headed for the plate and hit another chopper. This time, he sank just over the pitching mound, giving a play no chance as he hit a field single.
Greene has reached base in 14 of his 15 career MLB games.
Haase would provide the fireworks in the following image. After two quick outs to start the seventh, Haase got a dangling curveball on the first pitch and threw it into left field, traveling 389 feet at 106.6 mph past the bullpen to drive up the Tigers by two.
The bullpen, which has been the Tigers’ bright spot this season, shined again.
Arriving on short notice in the fourth, Alexander emerged from a traffic jam loaded with bases. It set the tone for his day, pitching 3⅓ scoreless innings, while allowing only two singles and no walks.
Since returning from the disabled list in mid-June, Alexander has allowed just one earned run in 13⅓ innings on eight hits, six walks and seven strikeouts.
Alex Lange followed suit in the eighth inning when he ran into the heart of the Guardians order.
He needed four pitches to hit Rosario on a curveball, seven pitches before running Ramirez through a 95mph lead and three pitches before setting Reyes on a curveball to hit the side in order.
After using Michael Fulmer and Gregory Soto in Game 1, Hinch turned to Joe Jimenez to close out Game 2.
Contact Tony Garcia at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @realtonygarcia.