A few early long balls made for a very long afternoon for Casey Mize and the Detroit Tigers.
Mize gave up three homers — all in the first two innings — for the first time in 10 career starts, and the Tigers lost their third straight game in Oakland, 7-0, on Saturday.
Mize couldn’t build off his first career win on Monday, when he held Houston scoreless for seven innings.
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A’s starter Cole Irvin held the Tigers to four hits in six innings as the Tigers were shut out for the second straight game. They lost 3-0 on Friday night.
The Tigers will try to salvage the finale of the four-game series on Sunday.
Mize goes five, A’s go deep
Mize had only given up one run in his first two starts. Oakland scored one in the first inning when No. 3 hitter Matt Olson clobbered a 3-2 four-seamer into the second deck in right-center field.
The Tigers’ prized right-hander gave up two more blasts in the second. Aramis Garcia drilled another 3-2 pitch, this time a hanging slider, over the left-center wall for a two-run homer.
On the next pitch, Mark Canha smoked a fastball in the same area of the park for a 4-0 Oakland lead.
Mize settled down but still required 95 pitches to get through five innings.
He recorded four strikeouts, getting Garcia and Ramon Laureano looking with fastballs, and didn’t issue a walk. But he also hit two batters, including Canha, who came around to score in the fifth on Matt Chapman’s fielder’s choice when the Tigers failed to turn a potential inning-ending double play.
Bats come up empty again
The Tigers had a little more traffic on the base paths than the previous night, when they were limited to four singles. They had opportunities in the fourth and fifth but couldn’t get a clutch hit.
With runners at the corners and two out in the fourth, Jonathan Schoop lost a 10-pitch battle to Irvin, foul-tipping a fastball into the catcher’s glove.
Niko Goodrum came up in the fifth with two down and runners in scoring position. He and the Tigers bench thought a 3-2 offering from Irvin was low, but home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater disagreed, ending the inning.
Irvin had given up four runs to Houston in each of his first two starts this season.
The Tigers only got one hit off a trio of A’s relievers.
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Jimenez walks four in one inning
Joe Jimenez’s second outing of the season was even wilder than his first.
Jimenez was elevated from the taxi squad on Thursday and walked three of the four batters he faced that night.
Oakland’s batters patiently waited for Jimenez to implode again in the seventh inning Saturday.
Canha walked with one out. Jimenez then struck out Laureano but couldn’t get out of the inning. He lost Olson, Chapman and Mitch Moreland on 3-2 pitches to force in a run before AJ Hinch gave him the hook.
Jimenez’s final tally was 32 pitches and only 15 strikes.