The Tigers completed the series sweep on Sunday afternoon in convincing fashion pounding the Twins 7-0 to wash away the bad taste of their last series prior to the All Star break in Minnesota. The sun was shining in Detroit, Phil Coke was once again in the stands having himself a good time, and the Tigers played one of their best games of the season — an all around complete performance from the offense, defense, and pitchers. Wily Peralta, the magic man, was once again dealing and the offense was led by homers from Jonathan Schoop and Jeimer Candelario.
Peralta had himself quite the afternoon. He was giving up hard contact in the early innings, but only got stronger as he got farther into the game. The Twins got a base runner in Josh Donaldson over to third with two outs in the first inning, and then Alex Kirilloff over to second in the second, but never advanced a base runner past first against Peralta past that. The 32-year-old continued his surprising season with seven shutout innings allowing only four hits while striking out four and walking four. He dropped his season ERA to 1.64 in 33.0 innings.
He also got plenty of help from his defense. Akil Baddoo threw out Trevor Larnach trying to stretch a single into a double in the first inning. The fourth inning ended with Max Kepler called out on strikes and a picture perfect transfer and throw to second to cut down Jorge Polanco trying to steal second. Jeimer Candelario was busy, starting a pair of double plays, as was Zack Short at shortstop.
The weather was hot but the bats were hotter as the Tigers erupted for seven runs off of J.A. Happ, who was forced to wear it for seven innings out there. Every hitter in the starting lineup had at least one hit except for Robbie Grossman and Zack Short, but Grossman did reach base via a walk.
The Tigers got their scoring started in the third inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from Jonathan Schoop that scored Jake Rogers. Miguel Cabrera followed with an RBI single, bringing his career hit total to 2,929, tying him with Al Simmons for 40th in MLB history. Jeimer Candelario then hit an RBI double to extend the lead to 3-0.
In the fifth inning with Akil Baddoo on base Jonathan Schoop launched an absolute gargantuan moon shot to left field to put the Tigers up 5-0. Schoop leads all Tigers hitters with 17 home runs on the season. In the seventh, Jeimer Candelario hit his own two-run homer to left field. Candelario also had eight assists in the field, a career high for him.
In a crazy turn of events, the bullpen of the Tigers came in and actually did its job. Buck Farmer pitched a scoreless eighth, and despite allowing the first two batters of the inning to reach. Alex Lange allowed a leadoff single to Trevor Larnach, and then lost his control, walking Nelson Cruz on four straight pitches. However, he bounced back, using his rarely seen changeup for three straight strikes, two of them whiffs, against Alex Kirilloff to set him down, and was able to close the game without any other issues.
With the victory, the Tigers now have nine series sweeps on the year, their most since 2016. Their record stands at 43-51. Casey Mize will be on the bump Monday night as they welcome in the Texas Rangers for four games.
Anyone have Wily Peralta, dominant starting pitcher, among their prop bets this preseason? Didn’t think so. The peripherals say it won’t last, of course, but he’s really bailed the Tigers out of a tight spot.
Tigers staff ace Wily Peralta threw 7 scoreless innings today (although he walked four batters and probably should buy Jeimer Candelario a beer after the game for all the hard hits he turned into outs).
Since June 26, Peralta has allowed just 1 ER in 26 2/3 IP.
— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) July 18, 2021