Scary collision between Hill, Baddoo dampens Tigers’ win over Orioles

Detroit News

Baltimore — The game all of a sudden became very secondary as Tigers left fielder Akil Baddoo and center fielder Derek Hill were sprawled out on the ground in left field after a fierce collision in the eighth inning Tuesday night.

The two speedy rookie outfielders were chasing a drive in the gap hit by Orioles slugger Anthony Santander. They collided at near full speed and somehow Hill held on to the ball. The collision seemed more body to body but Baddoo was clearly dazed and wobbly.

“Nasty collision,” manager AJ Hinch said after the Tigers completed the 9-4 win over the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. “It was a ball hit in probably the perfect spot for both guys to be going full speed and both with a chance to catch it.”

According to Statcast, Hill’s sprint speed was 28.3 feet per second when he caught the ball. Baddoo was pursuing at a sprint speed of 28.5 feet per second.

“You don’t see those a lot at this level, but when you see them, they are nasty,” Hinch said.

Hinch said Baddoo’s head collided with Hill’s rib cage. Baddoo was being evaluated for a concussion and was also getting his shoulder looked at. Hill was having his ribs X-rayed.

“I will be surprised if (Baddoo) doesn’t need a few days if not an IL stint,” Hinch said. “By the time I got out there, both guys were pretty banged up and in a lot of pain. It was a very scary incident.”

Both players walked off under their own power, albeit slowly. Hinch had to scramble his defense on the fly, inserting Harold Castro into the game at shortstop and moving Niko Goodrum from shortstop to center. Grayson Greiner was inserted at catcher, moving Eric Haase out to left.

“I had already had Victor (Reyes) at DH,” said Hinch, who used Reyes to run for Miguel Cabrera. “Fortunately we were prepared. We have a lot of versatile players. But it’s never anything I feel good about.”

The Tigers, after a nearly two-hour (1:54) rain delay at the start, put themselves in position to win by refusing to let a couple of early innings die. Five of the six runs they scored over the second and third innings were generated by two-out hits.

Lefty Keegan Akin, the Western Michigan University product, started for the Orioles and dispatched the first five batters he faced, striking out Jeimer Candelario (looking) and Haase (chasing) to start the second.

“We needed a couple of good things to happen,” Hinch said.

It did. Akin walked Goodrum and never really recovered. Willi Castro scorched an opposite-field double off the right-field wall to score Goodrum. Baddoo followed with a two-strike triple, also to the opposite field.

It was Baddoo’s second extra-base hit off a left-hander this season.

Jonathan Schoop doubled home Robbie Grossman from first base in the second. Then, again with two outs, Goodrum singled in a run and Castro tripled home two more.

Goodrum, activated off the injured list and playing for the first time since July 10, had two walks, a single, drove in a run and scored twice.

“That was as much of a grind for a 9-4 win as you’re going to find,” Hinch said. “That’s because we had a little trouble on the mound.”

You expected those six runs to be more than enough support for Casey Mize. It was just enough. Mize got bit by the long ball for the second straight start and he didn’t get through five innings.

“I don’t know if it was partly the delay or partly just a couple of lapses of concentration,” Hinch said. “But it just didn’t look like he was at his best.”

Mize gave up three home runs to the Red Sox in his last start, and he did it again Tuesday against the Orioles.

Santander led off the second and third innings with home runs. He hit a slider in the second inning onto Eutaw Street, which runs beyond the right-field concourse. In the fourth, he hit a 91-mph two-seamer into the seats in left field.

Two batters later in the fourth, D.J. Stewart unloaded on a 93-mph four-seamer and hit it out to right field.

Santander and Stewart were two of just three lefties in the Orioles lineup against Mize, and they did damage.

The third lefty tagged Mize, too.  Cedric Mullins doubled with one out in the fifth and went to third on a wild pitch. Mize induced a comebacker from Ramon Urias. He looked Mullins back to third but threw errantly to first, which allowed Mullins to score.

It was Mize’s first career error.

“It just looked like he was out of sync and not really in rhythm,” Hinch said. “He had a couple of mental lapses. He had a ball slip out of his hand and go to the backstop. And the error is very rare. He’s an excellent fielding pitcher.

“That error was kind of symbolic of an off night for him.”

The Tigers resumed scoring after a three-inning lull. Candelario hit his eighth home run of the season, a two-run shot in the top of the eighth. Greiner doubled and scored on single by Grossman in the ninth.

Miguel Cabrera remained at 498 career home runs, going 1 for 3 with an infield single.

Twitter: @cmccosky

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