Evan Petzold | Detroit Free Press
CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-3, on Saturday at BayCare Ballpark.
The Tigers dropped to 6-6 in Grapefruit League play.
Right-hander Casey Mize — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft — started and couldn’t make it through three innings. He allowed six earned runs on four hits and three walks, with three strikeouts. He got 11 swings-and-misses and reached 96.6 mph with his fastball. Reliever Buck Farmer was solid in his inning and continues to vie for a leverage role in the bullpen.
Rule 5 draft pick Akil Baddoo, searching for a spot on the team, went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer. Former No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson, after starting 0-for-15 (nine strikeouts), collected his first spring training hit in the eighth inning. Outfield prospect Parker Meadows made his spring training debut and was hitless in two at-bats. The Tigers struck out 11 times and only drew one walk.
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After six walks in four innings during Mize’s first two outings, the 23-year-old had the chance to rewrite his command struggles. In the first inning, leadoff hitter Andrew McCutchen drew a five-pitch walk, and after a strikeout of Rhys Hoskins, former All-Star Bryce Harper crushed an 0-2 fastball for a 436-foot home run. Mize improved in the second inning, retiring all three of his batters with better command and — for the first time Saturday — his splitter.
In the third, a McCutchen double and walks to Hoskins and Harper loaded the bases for Didi Gregorius, who blasted an 86.6 mph cutter for a 416-foot grand slam, giving the Phillies a 6-0 lead. Mize struck out the next hitter, Jean Segura, but was pulled afterward at 59 pitches (35 strikes). He has an 8.53 ERA this spring.
At the plate
The Tigers collected eight hits but couldn’t score until the seventh inning, when Baddoo launched his first home run this spring. Infield prospect Ryan Kreidler doubled to the wall in center field, pushing in Harold Castro, but the Tigers still trailed by six runs, 9-3, in the seventh. In a battle for the backup catcher job, Dustin Garneau went 2-for-2 at the plate. Involved in the same competition, 25-year-old catcher Jake Rogers went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Eric Haase doubled in the ninth inning.
On the mound
Left-hander Robbie Ross Jr. got the final two outs in the third inning, and Farmer pitched a clean fourth inning, striking out Hoskins swinging on a changeup. His fastball averaged 93.8 mph. Ex-closer Joe Jimenez pitched the fifth inning but only got two outs. He chucked three wild pitches, plunked a batter, allowed a double and let three runs score. Manager AJ Hinch replaced Jimenez with Alex Lange after the third wild pitch. The 25-year-old — traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Tigers in July 2019 — pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Lange’s fastball averaged 97.3 mph and he only needed 16 pitches (12 strikes) to complete his work. Left-hander Ian Krol pitched the seventh inning; righty Drew Hutchison completed the eighth.
Outfielder Daz Cameron started as the designated hitter and finished 0-for-1. Third baseman Isaac Paredes was hitless in his three at-bat but made a few sharp plays in the field. Many of their fellow prospects came off the bench in Saturday’s game: Torkelson, Kreidler, Rogers, Meadows, Riley Greene and Kody Clemens. In the seventh, Greene made an impressive play in the outfield. He tracked a line drive from Johan Rojas, turning and making an over-the-head catch on the warning track. The 20-year-old struck out in his lone at-bat.
1. Baddoo, 2. Farmer, 3. Garneau.
Sunday vs. Baltimore Orioles in Lakeland.