It started as a very unusual night: With prized pitching prospect Casey Mize on the mound at Comerica Park, making his home debut for the Detroit Tigers.
It ended as a very typical Tigers loss, as the Chicago Cubs roughed up the rookie starter and then shut down a struggling Detroit offense to pick up a 9-3 win.
Mize went 3.1 innings, giving up five hits and four runs, three earned. He struck out Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez in the first before struggling with command and giving up two runs in the second. Tyler Alexander gave up two runs and three hits in a relief appearance.
Christin Stewart hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth inning that cut the Tigers’ deficit to 6-3. The Cubs tacked on three runs in the ninth, including Baez’s second home run of the night.
Ninth inning: Javier Baez puts final nail in Tigers coffin
John Schreiber comes on in relief for Kyle Funkhouser.
The final line for Funkhouser: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Javier Baez smokes a home run to left to lead off the inning for Chicago.
Kyle Schwarber smacks a first-pitch single to center. He is replaced on the basepaths by Albert Almora.
Willson Contreras strikes out swinging. Jason Heyward hits his second double of the night, putting runners at second and third with one away. The Tigers will intentionally walk Victor Caratini, ending the night for Schreiber.
Final line for Schreiber: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
In comes Rony Garcia for the Tigers, with the bases juiced. A 3-2 pitch to David Bote is hit into left for a single, bringing in a pair of runs to make it 9-3, Cubs.
Nico Hoerner hits into a double play, mercifully ending the inning.
END TOP 9TH: Cubs 9, Tigers 3
JaCoby Jones strikes out looking to lead off the inning. Christin Stewart pops out to shallow right. Two away.
Austin Romine grounds out to end the game.
FINAL: Cubs 9, Tigers 3
Eighth inning: Tigers caught looking as last chances blow by
Kyle Funkhouser takes over for Tyler Alexander on the mound.
Final line for Alexander: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Funkhouser gets Nico Hoerner swinging to start the inning. Niko Goodrum makes a nice play to get out Ian Happ at first. Two away, as in steps Anthony Rizzo.
Funkhouser gets Rizzo swinging for the third out of the inning.
END TOP 8TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 3
Miguel Cabrera hits a slow chopper to short that’s taken for the first out of the inning. Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum strike out swinging to end the inning.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
END BOTTOM 8TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 3
Seventh inning: Christin Stewart cuts Cubs lead in half
Tyler Alexander gets Jason Heyward swinging to start the inning. He then hits Victor Caritini with a 3-2 fastball to put a runner on with one away.
Alexander gets out of the (minor) trouble, getting David Bote to hit into an inning-ending double play. Solid performance from Alexander down the stretch.
END TOP 7TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 1
JaCoby Jones smacks a single to right, his first hit of the night, to lead off the inning for Detroit.
Christin Stewart knocks a home run in the same direction, cutting the Cubs lead to 6-3 here in the seventh.
Austin Romine strikes out on three pitches for the first out of the inning. Willi Castro then grounds out to second. Two away.
Victor Reyes keeps the inning alive with a single to right. Jonathan Schoop pops out to end the inning.
END TOP 7TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 3
Sixth inning: Alexander ends the night strong as Tigers offense continues to sputter
Tyler Alexander remains on the mound for Detroit.
Javier Baez lines out to Christin Stewart to lead off the inning. Kyle Schwarber strikes out. Two away.
Willson Contreras ends the inning with a lineout.
END TOP 6TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 1
Miguel Cabrera leads off the inning for Detroit. He grounds out, as does Jeimer Candelario. Two away.
Niko Goodrum continues the trend, grounding out to end the inning.
END BOTTOM 6TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 1
Fifth inning: Cubs threaten, can’t capitalize on chance to extend lead
Jason Heyward leads off the inning with a double over the head of Christin Stewart. Tyler Alexander gets Victor Caratini swinging with a payoff pitch. One away, still with a runner in scoring position.
David Bote gets Heyward over to third with a soft grounder that’s taken for a fielder’s choice. Nico Hoerner gets on with a hit-by-pitch, then steals second to put two runners in scoring position with two outs.
Ian Happ then walks to load the bases for Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo grounds out to end the inning.
END TOP 5TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 1
Willi Castro hits a first-pitch lineout to kick off the inning for Detroit. Victor Reyes grounds out for the second out of the inning. Jonathan Schoop fails to get a hit for the first time tonight, as a lineout ends the inning for the Tigers.
END BOTTOM 5TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 1
Fourth inning: Bote homer ends night for Mize
David Bote takes Casey Mize deep to lead off the inning for the Cubs, immediately helping Chicago take a 3-1 lead.
An overthrow to first base can’t be corralled by Jeimer Candelario, allowing Nico Hoerner to reach on a ground ball to third. Hoerner then steals second, putting a runner in scoring position with no outs.
Hoerner moves over to third on a sacrifice fly. That’ll end the day for Mize.
Final line for Mize: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Anthony Rizzo gets his first hit off the night against Tyler Alexander, bringing in the run from second. It’s 4-1, Cubs.
Javier Baez hits a two-run shot to blow this thing wide open. It’s now 6-1, Chicago.
Kyle Schwarber grounds out for the second out of the inning, and Willson Contreras does the same to end the fourth. The Cubs lead by 5.
END TOP 4TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 1
JaCoby Jones grounds out to second to kick off the inning for Detroit. Christin Stewart strikes out to quickly make it two outs. Austin Romine strikes out to end the inning.
END BOTTOM 4TH: Cubs 6, Tigers 1
Third inning: Mize gets out of trouble after two-run second
Javier Baez singles to center to lead off the inning for Chicago. Jeimer Candelario botches a grounder to first, allowing Kyle Schwarber to get on with no outs as Baez continues to second. That’ll be scored as an error.
An unusual double-play ball gets Schwarber and then allows the Tigers to catch Baez in a pickle between third and home for the second out. Now two away with Willson Contreras on second.
Casey Mize walks Jason Heyward.
Jonathan Schoop makes a terrific play to stop a ball up the middle and get the Tigers out of the inning without any runs scored.
END TOP 3RD: Cubs 2, Tigers 0
Willi Castro leads off the inning with a single. Victor Reyes goes down looking to make it one away with a runner on first.
Jonathan Schoop’s second hit of the night moves Castro over to second. That brings up Miguel Cabrera, who also singled in his first at-bat of the evening.
Cabrera walks on four straight, loading the bases for Jeimer Candelario with one out.
Candelario benefits from the shift as a chopper to Anthony Rizzo is only taken for one out. Schoop scores from third to cut Chicago’s lead in half, 2-1. Runners at the corners now with two outs.
Niko Goodrum hits a first-pitch pop-out to end the inning.
END BOTTOM 3RD: Cubs 2, Tigers 1
Second inning: Mize begins to wobble
Casey Mize goes back to work for Detroit to start the second. He gets Kyle Schwarber to ground out to lead off the inning.
A perfectly placed bunt by Willson Contreras allows the Cubs to get a runner on. There goes the no-hit bid. Jason Heyward grounds out for the second out, but Conteras is able to get over to second safely, putting a runner in scoring position with two men away.
Mize hits Victor Caratini with a 2-0 slider to put two on.
David Bote hits a bloop single on a slider, low and away, to bring home Contreras and put the Cubs up 1-0 in the second. Niko Goodrum appeared to have saved the Tigers from further disaster, but he can’t hang on to an absolute rocket off the bat that brings home another runner.
It’s 2-0 Chicago with runners at the corners and two away. Mize keeps the inning alive by issuing the first walk of his MLB career. Out comes Tigers pitching coach Rick Anderson.
An Anthony Rizzo pop-out ends the inning.
END TOP 2ND: Cubs 2, Tigers 0
JaCoby Jones walks into the box to start the inning for Detroit. He strikes out looking. Christin Stewart’s bunt attempt goes foul, and a few pitches later, he hits right into the shift for Detroit’s second out. Nico Hoerner makes a tricky play on a pop-out behind first base to end the inning.
END BOTTOM 2ND: Cubs 2, Tigers 0
First inning: Two strikeouts mark strong first inning in Mize’s home debut
Casey Mize takes the mound at Comerica Park for the first time. He gets Ian Happ to ground out to begin the inning, then strikes out Anthony Rizzo. Two away.
Mize ends the inning with a strikeout of Javier Baez.
END TOP 1ST: Tigers 0, Cubs 0
Victor Reyes grounds out to lead things off for the Tigers. Jonathan Schoop smacks a single to left, bringing up Miguel Cabrera with one away.
Cabrera moves things along with a single of his own, another fastball, to put two men on in the first. Jeimer Candelario then strikes out looking to slow things down for the Detroit offense. Niko Goodrum brings things to a screeching halt with a strikeout of his own.
END BOTTOM 1ST: Tigers 0, Cubs 0
Casey Mize’s first start for the Detroit Tigers last week was a mixed bag.
He became the first Tigers pitcher to collect at least seven strikeouts without a walk in his major-league debut, but also could not make it out of the fifth inning, allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits in 4.1 innings, getting a no-decision in a 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft will look for a better end result Monday night, when Mize makes his Comerica Park debut against the Chicago Cubs. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.
The Tigers enter the three-game series on a bit of a high, taking two of three from the Cleveland Indians to help snap a nine-game losing streak, and a 20-game losing streak to their American League Central Division rivals. Sunday’s 7-4 victory clinched Detroit’s first series victory over Cleveland since 2018.
In that game, another highly touted Tigers rookie pitcher made his second major-league start, with lefty Tarik Skubal unable to survive the third inning before giving way to Daniel Norris, who spun 3.2 shutout innings in relief.
The Cubs enter the series leading the National League Central with a 17-10 record.
Follow along here for live updates from Detroit News contributor Nolan Bianchi.
Tigers vs. Cubs
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Monday, Comerica Park, Detroit
TV/radio: FS1, Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Starting pitchers: RHP Alec Mills (2-2, 4.76) vs. RHP Casey Mize (0-0, 6.23)
1. Ian Happ, CF
2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
3. Javier Baez, SS
4. Kyle Schwarber, LF
5. Willson Contreras, C
6. Jason Heyward, RF
7. Victor Caratini, DH
8. David Bote, 3B
9. Nico Hoerner, 2B
1. Victor Reyes, RF
2. Jonathan Schoop, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, DH
4. Jeimer Candelario, 1B
5. Niko Goodrum, SS
6. JaCoby Jones, CF
7. Christin Stewart, LF
8. Austin Romine, C
9. Willi Castro, 3B