Sergio Alcántara hit nine home runs in 2,611 Minor League plate appearances. He needed just two pitches Sunday for his first Major League homer.
His Tigers teammate, Grayson Greiner, has four hits since Aug. 19. Three of them are home runs, including a go-ahead loft just out of Eddie Rosario’s
His Tigers teammate, Grayson Greiner, has four hits since Aug. 19. Three of them are home runs, including a go-ahead loft just out of Eddie Rosario’s grasp over the left-field fence at Target Field that fueled a three-run eighth inning for a 10-8 win on Sunday.
Thus, on an afternoon when top pitching prospect
For the first half of the game, the Twins looked like they would grind through a tired Tigers pitching staff and run away with an early lead. Minnesota taxed Mize for 83 pitches over four-plus innings, shrugging off a splitter that had been Mize’s wipeout pitch. Three more fifth-inning runs off Rony Garcia built a 6-2 Twins lead.
At that point, Detroit’s lone bright spot appeared to be Alcántara’s third-inning homer off a 1-0 pitch from 40-year-old Twins starter Rich Hill. The drive to left made Alcántara the eighth Tiger ever to homer in his first big league at-bat, the first since pitcher Daniel Norris at Wrigley Field in 2015, and the first Tigers position player since Reggie Sanders in 1974.
Willi Castro’s two-run homer in the sixth inning started Detroit’s rally; he then slashed a seventh-inning single to tie the game. With several of Detroit’s main late-inning relievers on rest, on came Funkhouser, who made the Opening Day roster as an innings-eater but has found bigger situations with a velocity jump. He used a 97-mph fastball to fan pinch-hitter Josh Donaldson before stranding the go-ahead run on second base in the seventh.
Once Greiner’s wall-scraper, Jonathan Schoop’s RBI triple and Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single moved the Tigers in front, Funkhouser stayed on for the eighth, shrugging off an Eddie Rosario solo homer to hold the lead.