DETROIT — Akil Baddoo began his rookie campaign cranking balls out of Comerica Park. The way his game has evolved this season, it figures he would end his season in Detroit keeping balls in.
Though Hunter Dozier’s third-inning drive Saturday had just a .370 expected batting average according to Statcast, it had just enough carry to clear the left-field fence in front of the bullpens at Comerica Park. It did not have enough carry to clear the glove at the end of Baddoo’s arm, however, which was extended entirely above the fence at the top of his leap.
Baddoo came back to the ground smiling, ball in hand. The crowd of 16,424 gave him a standing ovation. Tigers starter Tarik Skubal hugged Baddoo in the dugout at inning’s end. It was a big run saved in what ended up being a 5-1 Tigers win, a low-scoring duel that turned on Miguel Cabrera’s two-run double in the sixth inning and was sealed on Cabrera’s two-run single in the eighth. But it also helped to round out the resume on Baddoo’s rookie season.
Baddoo led off the game-clinching rally in the eighth with a single, later reaching third on a Jonathan Schoop double. Robbie Grossman’s walk loaded the bases for Cabrera’s 2,983rd career hit, a ground ball through the middle to plate two more runs.