After a disappointing Wednesday afternoon, the Detroit Tigers rebounded in the night cap of the double header to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2. Spencer Turnbull was activated off the injured list to make his first start of the season, and boy was it a promising outing. And although it wasn’t a world-altering performance out of the offense, it was nice to see them string together a few good at bats later in the game to put some runs on the board.
Turnbull’s first inning trot out to the mound was a welcome sight for the Tigers. While he wasn’t maxing out velocity wise, his slider was getting some serious bite and aside from a shaky first inning where he allowed a walk of Bryan Reynolds to come around to score on an Erik Gonzalez double, he kept the Pirates off balance. On a tight pitch count, he spun five innings in total with that first inning run as the only blemish. He racked up six strikeouts with two hits and two walks apiece.
Niko Goodrum tied the game in the third inning with a solo bomb to left center field. In the fifth, Jonathan Schoop untied the game with his first home run of the season, one of the solo variety to the seats in left field. It’s nice to see Schoop, who drove in a run in the first game of the day and will most likely get quite a few more repetitions at first base with the DFA of Renato Núñez, show some signs of breaking out. He played a big role in the offense last year and the Tigers are in desperate need of production from anywhere.
The Tigers weren’t done in the fifth though. After Schoop’s home run, Akil Baddoo hit a hustle double on the ground to center field that prompted Chip Hale, the human windmill, to wave in Goodrum who absolutely booked it home all the way from first. Grayson Greiner followed with a walk which knocked out Pirates starter Miguel Yajure, and then two batters later a lined single from Willi Castro off of David Bednar brought Baddoo in to pad the Tigers lead to 4-1.
Bryan Garcia gave back a run in the sixth off a home run from Phillip Evans, but the Tigers took it right back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to an RBI single from Hittin’ Harold Castro. Gregory Soto came in and locked down his second save of the season in the seventh inning — yes, the seventh due to the double header — with two strikeouts. Stay nasty, Greg.