Casey Mize tosses seven-strikeout gem in 4-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners

Detroit Free Press
Dana Gauruder |  Special to Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers and their fans want to believe Casey Mize is the real deal. Right now, Mize is dealing.

He delivered his fourth consecutive quality start as the Tigers began a six-game road trip with a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

Mize tossed 7⅔  innings, the longest outing of his career, and tied his career high with seven strikeouts. Tom Murphy’s solo homer in the eighth inning spoiled his shutout bid. Mize has only allowed three hits in each of his three May starts.

Eric Haase and Jonathan Schoop supplied the offense. Haase hit a pair of solo homers, while Schoop added a two-run blast.

The Tigers entered the game with an American League-worst 5-14 road record.

Schoop delivers in field, at plate

Schoop, who has spent most of the season at first base, was moved back to his natural second base spot as manager AJ Hinch stacked the lineup with right-handers against left-hander Yusei Kikucki.

Detroit’s defense looked a lot sharper with Schoop in that spot. Schoop was the middle man as the Tigers turned double plays in the first two innings. He ended the fourth inning by ranging far to his left to make a diving stop of a J.P. Crawford grounder, then threw out Crawford from his knees on the right field grass.

Schoop’s homer was his first long ball since April 27 and third of the season. The opposite-field blast gave him five RBIs in the last three games.

Mize hits cruise control

Mize struck out Kyle Seager with a slider in the first inning but his fastball was his bread-and-butter pitch.

He blew away Jarred Kelenic, who was taken five picks after Mize in the 2018 draft, with a 95-MPH heater in the third. Mize did the same against Kyle Lewis in the fourth and got Jose Marmolejos looking at a fastball on the inside corner in the fifth.

Mize fanned Marmolejos again in the seventh, this time with a curve.

Following Murphy’s homer leading off the eighth, Sam Haggerty waved at a curveball and Donovan Walton was caught looking at a fastball before Mize departed.

Hinch keep his catchers busy

Hinch’s ever-changing lineup featured all three catchers on the active roster. Wilson Ramos, fresh off the injured list after recovering from a back injury, served as the designated hitter. Haase made his first career start in left field, while Jake Rogers handled the backstop duties.

Haase (Dearborn Divine Child alum) powered a Kikucki cutter over the right-center field wall in the second inning for his second career homer. His first came with Cleveland against Washington on Sept. 28, 2019.

His second homer of the game came against Brady Lail in the ninth and sailed over the left-center field wall.

Ramos struck out with the bases loaded in the first. He was 0-for-4 in his return to the lineup.

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