The Detroit Tigers weren’t able to recreate their late-game heroics in the three-game series finale, as Minnesota Twins right-hander Alex Colome retired the three batters he faced in the ninth inning in order.
When the final out was made, 22-year-old Akil Baddoo — after hitting Tuesday’s epic walk-off single — was standing in the on-deck circle. Still, Baddoo went 1-for-3 with an RBI triple in the second inning.
The Tigers (3-3) made a few crucial mistakes and lost, 3-2, to the Twins on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Right-hander Jose Cisnero pitched two perfect innings out of the bullpen, picking up three strikeouts in the eighth, sending down Mitch Garver, Max Kepler and Nelson Cruz on sliders.
The Tigers take on Cleveland at 7:10 p.m. Friday, which comes after Thursday’s off day and begins a 10-game road trip. Right-hander Julio Teheran is starting for the Tigers, opposed by Indians righty Zach Plesac.
Trailing by one run in the sixth inning, the Tigers earned much-needed momentum against Twins starter Kenta Maeda, but they squandered every chance of scoring. Willi Castro opened the inning with a single. The next batter, Miguel Cabrera, doubled to left fielder Jake Cave.
On Cabrera’s double, third base coach Chip Hale — a 2019 World Series winner as the Washington Nationals’ bench coach — waved his arm in circles. This was a signal to Castro, telling him to round third base and dash home. The Twins threw him out at the plate, from Cave to shortstop Andrelton Simmons to catcher Garver.
But the Tigers loaded the bases, thanks to Jeimer Candelario’s walk and Nomar Mazara’s sharp single. With one out, Schoop flied out to right field. Cabrera tagged at third base and tried to score.
Manager AJ Hinch said after the game that Cabrera had the green light to go.
Either way, the 37-year-old was thrown out with ease for an inning-ending double play (and no runs). Also, Cabrera grounded out into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the eighth. He finished 1-for-4 with one strikeout.
The legend of Baddoo — a Rule 5 draft pick — continued in the second inning, when he tripled to the right-center field gap to score Schoop. He gave the Tigers their first run of the game.
In Baddoo’s MLB debut Sunday, he launched a home run on the first pitch he saw. In his second game Monday, he delivered two hits, including a ninth-inning grand slam. In his third game Tuesday, Baddoo entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. And once the bottom of the 10th came around, he delivered a walk-off single.
The jaw-dropping start to Baddoo’s career continued in his fourth game. He is 5-for-11 (.455) with two homers, one triple and seven RBIs, adding one stolen base.
In the third inning, Simmons roped a rocket into the left-field corner. Trying to reach second base for a double, Baddoo came up throwing and got the first out of the inning. It was his first outfield assist in the majors, with Schoop applying the tag.
Boyd at his best
Left-hander Matthew Boyd completed the seventh inning for the first time since Aug. 18, 2019, against the Tampa Bay Rays. He used 96 pitches, getting an unbelievable 77 strikes. Against the 27 batters Boyd faced, he got first-pitch strikes against 24 of them.
The first 1-0 count came in the sixth inning to Kyle Garlick, who singled with two outs. He was followed by an infield single from Cruz. Jorge Polanco doubled to score them both, giving the Twins a 3-2 lead. But Boyd responded with a three-pitch strikeout against Byron Buxton to escape.
Boyd finished his outing by pitching seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He didn’t grant any walks but worked eight strikeouts. He got 13 swings-and-misses and 23 called strikes, with his fastball averaging 91.7 mph and maxing out at 93 mph.
He earned his 13 whiffs with three of his four pitches: four-seam fastball (four whiffs), changeup (six) and slider (three). He used 35 fastballs, 29 changeups, 27 sliders and five curveballs.
When the Twins tied the game on Willians Astudillo’s sacrifice fly to right field, Boyd got an added boost in the bottom of the frame from Wilson Ramos. He crushed his second home run this season to left field to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.