Detroit Tigers’ comeback fizzles in 4-1 loss to Cleveland in fourth straight defeat

Detroit Free Press

Cleveland starter Aaron Civale pitched into the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers, limiting them to six hits and one walk while he was on the mound.

The Tigers (18-30) took a 4-1 loss Tuesday at Comerica Park. Detroit has dropped four games in a row and two straight against Cleveland to begin the four-game series. The offense scored its lone run on seven hits and two walks, with eight strikeouts.

Jeimer Candelario singled and Miguel Cabrera walked with no outs in the ninth inning to chase Civale after 104 pitches. He had six strikeouts. Right-hander James Karinchak allowed a one-out RBI single to Jonathan Schoop and walked Akil Baddoo to load the bases.

But Karinchak escaped the jam, striking out Willi Castro and getting Eric Haase to fly out to center field.

DEVELOPING BADDOO: How Tigers are preparing rookie Akil Baddoo for the future: ‘He’s a sponge’

FARM SYSTEM: Why a 24-hour stretch shows how special Tigers prospect Gage Workman can be

Left-hander Tarik Skubal started and pitched five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, striking out nine batters. His pitch count — 93 pitches, 55 strikes — kept him from getting into the sixth inning.

The Tigers best chance to score against Civale was in the seventh inning. Baddoo tripled to straightaway center field — his fourth triple this season — with two outs. Castro flied out to left field on the second pitch he saw in his at-bat, squandering the opportunity.

The Tigers finished 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

The third of four games is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Wednesday. Right-hander Jose Urena is starting, opposed by righty Triston McKenzie.

Nine more Ks

For his second consecutive start, Skubal recorded a career-high nine strikeouts.

Skubal seemed ready to pitch into the sixth inning after retiring the first two batters he faced in the fifth frame. He gave up a 3-0 single to Jose Ramirez, likely spoiling his chances to continue. The 24-year-old threw 28 pitches in the first inning, 17 in the second, 14 in the third, 16 in the fourth and 18 in the fifth.

Reliever Kyle Funkhouser entered for the sixth inning, ending Skubal’s outing.

LAST START: Tigers have ‘found their mojo,’ as Tarik Skubal has ‘special’ night in Seattle

Cleveland scored its runs in the first and fourth innings. Cesar Hernandez drilled a leadoff home run to left-center field for a 1-0 lead. It was the 13th home run allowed by Skubal through 43 innings this season. He has 20 walks and 49 strikeouts, with a 5.23 ERA.

In the fourth, Eddie Rosario and Harold Ramirez started the inning with a single and a double, respectively. The next batter, Owen Miller, grounded out for a 2-0 lead. Skubal stranded Ramirez at second base with two more outs, including a seven-pitch strikeout of Austin Hedges.

Skubal picked up strikeouts with his fastball, slider and curveball.

He struck out three batters in the second inning and worked around Hedges’ single. Miller struck out looking on a curveball, Yu Chang went down swinging on a slider and Hernandez whiffed at a slider. Also, Skubal struck out two batters each in the first and fifth innings.

He fired 46 four-seam fastballs, 24 sliders, 13 changeups and 10 curveballs. He logged an impressive 15 swings and misses through his five innings — seven with his fastball, five with his slider and three with his changeup. His fastball reached 97.9 mph and averaged 95 mph.

Hitting streak extended

Harold Castro singled in the first inning to push his hitting streak to six games. He has at least one hit in nine of his past 10 games. On Tuesday, he handled shortstop as manager AJ Hinch gave Niko Goodrum the game off.

NOTEBOOK: Tigers giving Willi Castro ‘long leash’ to make improvements this season

Castro chipped in his second single in the sixth inning. His line drive gave him eight multi-hit performances in May across 12 games played this month.

Since May 6, Castro has competed in 10 games. During that stretch, Castro is 21-for-44 (.477) with one double, eight RBIs, one walk and five strikeouts.

Funkhouser strong until HR

After taking over for Skubal, Funkhouser pitched through the sixth and seventh innings, along with recording one out in the eighth. He allowed a two-run homer to Jordan Luplow on a 2-2 slider, which gave Cleveland a 4-0 lead.

That’s when Hinch pulled him in favor of lefty Tyler Alexander.

[ Evaluating Spencer Turnbull’s first start since no-hitter in Tigers’ painful loss ]

Before allowing the home run, Funkhouser was dynamite on the mound. He threw 23 of his 32 pitches for strikes, generating five swings and misses and seven called strikes. He used 12 sliders, 11 sinkers, six four-seam fastballs and three changeups.

Funkhouser gave up two runs on one hit and zero walks in 2⅓ innings. (He hit Amed Rosario with a 95 mph sinker to start the eighth.)

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter

Articles You May Like

Series Preview: Detroit Tigers travel to face Houston Astros for 3-game weekend set
Atlanta 2, Detroit 1: Early runs spell doom
Tigers vs. Braves Game Highlights (6/18/24) | MLB Highlights
AL Central Notes: Crochet, Clevinger, Wacha, Lange
Tigers 1, Braves 2: Olson vs. Olson. Riley vs. Riley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *