DETROIT — One day after Spencer Turnbull joked that he was getting Opening Day weather for his delayed season debut, the Tigers right-hander delivered a performance worthy of a season-opening assignment. In the process, he helped the Tigers salvage a doubleheader split against the Pirates and end a five-game losing streak with a 5-2 win.
While Turnbull understandably didn’t have his midseason form in his return from COVID-19, he had a sharp slider, which he leaned on for five of his six strikeouts over five innings of one-run ball.
On a night when manager A.J. Hinch said Turnbull could go 75 pitches, he didn’t need that many to carry a lead into the late innings. Niko Goodrum’s third-inning homer tied the game, then Jonathan Schoop’s first homer of the season put the Tigers in front in the bottom of the fifth. Akil Baddoo and Willi Castro added RBI singles to pad the lead ahead of Gregory Soto’s second save of the season.