The Detroit Tigers loaded the bases three times Monday against the Chicago Cubs, and second baseman Jonathan Schoop made sure his team didn’t go all three times without capitalizing.
Schoop sent a sinking 2-1 fastball from reliever Casey Sadler in the sixth inning over the wall for a grand slam, driving in Cameron Maybin, Austin Romine and Isaac Paredes. His homer went 400 feet and had a 104.6-mph exit velocity.
More importantly, it gave the Tigers (12-16) a massive cushion in a 7-1 victory against the Cubs (18-11) at Comerica Park. Schoop’s line-drive blast all but guaranteed right-handed starter Spencer Turnbull would leave the ballpark with his third win after a masterful performance.
The bullpen continued what Turnbull, who went 5⅔ scoreless innings, started. Bryan Garcia, Jose Cisnero, Gregory Soto and Buck Farmer combined for one run allowed, a homer from Willson Contreras off Farmer in the ninth inning.
Detroit sends right-hander Michael Fulmer, and his 9.53 ERA, to the mound for the rubber match Wednesday against left-hander Jon Lester, who is 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA this year.
Matching his 2019 total
Turnbull has been the Tigers’ most reliable pitcher this season, despite giving up three runs in two innings his last time out, Aug. 20 against the Chicago White Sox. The 27-year-old improved his command over the five-day span and came back dominant Tuesday.
In 97 pitches across 5⅔ innings, he picked up five strikeouts, while only allowing three hits and three walks. His third win of the season ties his total from 2019, when he ended up 3-17 with a 4.61 ERA.
Turnbull lowered his2020 ERA to 2.97. The next-best ERA in the rotation is right-hander Casey Mize at 7.04 in two starts, and then lefty Matthew Boyd with an 8.48 ERA in six outings.
The Tigers should consider themselves lucky Turnbull had his stuff working because the offense didn’t do much to help him. They left the bases loaded in the first and second inning, due to a groundout from Romine in the first and back-to-back strikeouts for Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum in the second.
Starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood walked the bases loaded in that second inning, but reliever Duane Underwood got him out of the jam with two swinging strikeouts. Chatwood only made it 1⅓ innings, giving up two runs on three hits and five walks. He had two strikeouts and 55 total pitches. It was his first appearance since Aug. 6 after a stint on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain.
Center fielder JaCoby Jones left the game in the eighth inning with right calf tightness. Christin Stewart entered the game in left field, moving Victor Reyes to center. Jones was 1-for-3 with one RBI.
Remember the 2017 trade between the Tigers and Cubs at the trade deadline, sending left-handed reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to Chicago for prospects? The two prospects headed to Detroit — Candelario and Paredes — are both in the big leagues now.
Candelario went 2-for-4 with a double, while Paredes, who sat out Monday’s game, was 2-for-2 with two walks.
Cabrera passes Beltre
With his opposite-field single to drive in Reyes in the first inning, designated hitter Miguel Cabrera moved into No. 21 overall on the all-time list with 1,708 RBIs, breaking a tie with Adrian Beltre.
Next up for Cabrera are Honus Wagner (1,732), David Ortiz (1,768), Frank Robinson (1,812), Al Simmons (1,828) and Manny Ramirez (1,831).
Cabrera finished Tuesday’s game 2-for-4 with one walk. He now has 14 RBIs this season.
Reyes extends streak
Cabrera wouldn’t have been able to pass Beltre in the record books if not for Reyes, who extended his hitting streak to five games. Across his last seven contests, the 25-year-old outfielder is 7-for-28 with three doubles and one home run.
Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content.