Tigers fall short despite Baddoo’s solid day

Detroit Tigers
DETROIT — The sight of Akil Baddoo speeding around second base on his way to a third as his second-inning line drive rolled to the fence in left-center field sent a chilly Comerica Park crowd into a frenzy Thursday afternoon. Fans were on their feet again in the seventh when Baddoo’s drive to left seemed headed over the left-field fence.

For a brief moment it was, until Philip Evans brought it back. The Pirates’ left fielder didn’t catch it, but by redirecting it back onto the field as he collided with the fence, he held Baddoo to a double instead of a go-ahead home run. And as Baddoo stood on third base at inning’s end, Evans had essentially saved a run and preserved a tie game.

The Pirates pulled ahead with two runs the next inning, sending the Tigers to a 4-2 loss in the rubber match of the three-game series. In the process, Detroit got another glimpse of Baddoo’s potential along with his learning curve.

Less than three weeks into the season, Baddoo has had the highs of a historic start, with the best slugging percentage ever by an American League player in his first eight career games, and the lows of an 0-for-11, eight-strikeout series in Oakland last weekend. He ended his 0-for-15 slump with an RBI single Wednesday night, but put on a better show in the series finale.

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