Turnbull’s no-no inspired by … Kevin Costner?

Detroit Tigers

In an interview with MLB Network Radio on Wednesday afternoon, the Tigers right-hander said he had recently watched “For Love of the Game” leading up to his no-hitter. The 1999 movie, directed by Detroit area native Sam Raimi, stars Kevin Costner as an aging Tigers pitcher who throws a perfect game at Yankee Stadium in the final outing of his career, bringing joy to a rebuilding Detroit team.

“I’d watched it with my girlfriend, and it was just funny,” Turnbull said, “because we had been talking about how hard it was to throw a perfect game or throw a no-hitter, how it’s so crazy and so hard that it just rarely ever happens. We were literally talking about that last week.

“And then, after the fourth, when I walked [Jarred] Kelenic, I was like, ‘Ah, ain’t gonna be a perfecto, but maybe I can still come up with a no-hitter.’”

Turnbull walked one more batter before finishing off the ninth for MLB’s fifth no-hitter this year. Turnbull also had fewer defensive gems behind him than Chapel needed, though Jeimer Candelario made the play of the game to stop a Mitch Haniger shot down the line in the seventh.

The movie goes inning by inning through Chapel’s perfect game while going through flashbacks over Chapel’s career. One of the recurring lines is Costner telling himself to “clear the mechanism” as he gets into his delivery to focus on the hitter and throw to the catcher’s mitt.

In real life? Well, apparently, yeah.

“Clear the mechanism? I actually said it to myself several times,” Turnbull said. “I swear, it works.”

Turnbull doesn’t have to go far if he wants to learn more about the movie. Tigers assistant pitching coach Juan Nieves, who threw a no-hitter for the Brewers on April 15, 1987, actually had a small role in the film. So did Scott Bream, back then a Minor League outfielder in the Tigers’ system, but now the team’s vice president of player personnel.

Also, unlike Chapel, Turnbull will have another outing. Assuming Detroit’s rotation stays on turn, he lines up to start Monday night against Cleveland at Comerica Park to begin a week-long homestand.

Three hits, five RBIs for Greene
Riley Greene had a trio of singles Wednesday night, including a rare walk-off two-run infield knock with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, to send Double-A Erie to a 5-4 win over Binghamton at UPMC Park.

Greene, the Tigers’ No. 2 prospect and MLB Pipeline’s No. 16 overall prospect, broke out of a 2-for-17 slump with an RBI single up the middle in the third inning, then hit a line-drive single to right to plate two more runs in the seventh. He came back up in the ninth with the tying run on third and the winning run on second and saw nothing but breaking balls from lefty reliever Andrew Mitchell.

Greene worked the count full before sending a ground ball up the middle. Second baseman Luis Carpio stopped it, but Greene beat the throw to first as the winning run came around third.

It’s the second five-RBI performance so far this season for the 20-year-old Greene.

Cameron returns to Mud Hens’ lineup
Outfielder Daz Cameron made his season debut for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday. The Tigers’ No. 9 prospect spent the first two weeks of the season on the injured list with a fractured right wrist.

Cameron went 2-for-5 with an RBI. He flew out to the warning track in his first at-bat, before slapping an opposite-field RBI single through the right side his next time up. He also made an error in center field that led to an unearned run.

Wentz returns to game action
Left-hander Joey Wentz, the Tigers’ No. 7 prospect, threw three innings against the Phillies in an extended spring training game Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla., as he continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery in March 2020.

The Tigers are hoping to get Wentz back pitching in a Minor League assignment sometime this summer. One scout in attendance said he looked close to ready, though his pitches needed some polish from his time rehabbing.

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