Riley Greene cranks 2nd home run, RPs hit hard in Detroit Tigers’ 11-7 loss to Yankees

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers lost to the New York Yankees, 11-7, on Monday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, dropping to 4-5 (with two ties) in Grapefruit League play.

What happened

On the first pitch of the game, Tigers right-hander Eduardo Rodriguez fell behind on the scoreboard. Rodriguez allowed a leadoff home run to Gleyber Torres, who demolished a 92.3 mph fastball for a 415-foot opposite-field blast to right-center field.

Shortstop Javier Baez, signed by the Tigers for six years, $140 million in the offseason, made a diving catch in the sixth inning. He took away a single from Andres Chaparro (104.4 mph exit velocity) and ended a brutal top of the sixth.

The Yankees scored five runs in the sixth for a 9-1 lead.

In the eighth, top prospects Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson showed their talent against right-hander Shawn Semple. Greene launched his second home run of the spring, a 360-foot shot to right-center field, for the Tigers’ second run.

Torkelson followed with a double (102.5 mph exit velocity) off the wall in the left-center gap. After Willi Castro worked back from down 0-2 for a six-pitch walk, Victor Reyes hit a three-run homer to right.

The Tigers still trailed, 10-5.

Starting out

Rodriguez allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts across five innings, throwing 71 pitches (45 strikes). He has one more spring training before his Opening Day start April 8 against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park.

The 28-year-old kept the Yankees to one run until the fifth inning, when Ronald Guzman hit a two-run double to left field off Rodriguez’s 93.1 mph fastball. The two-bagger put the Yankees ahead 3-1.

Guzman came around to score on a passed ball by catcher Dustin Garneau, making it 4-1 Yankees. Rodriguez struck out Torres on three pitches, including back-to-back swing-and-miss changeups to put him away, for the first out in the fifth inning.

After walking Anthony Rizzo, Rodriguez escaped further damage by getting Isiah Kiner-Falefa to ground into a 5-4-3 double play, from Jeimer Candelario to Jonathan Schoop to Spencer Torkelson.

The Candelario-Schoop-Torkelson combination produced two double plays with Rodriguez on the mound. In the first inning, Schoop showed his range to the shortstop side of second base and made a spectacular cross-body throw to Torkelson for the second out.

For his 71 pitches, Rodriguez used 29 four-seam fastballs (41%), 17 cutters (24%), 13 sinkers (18%), eight changeups (11%) and four sliders (6%). He recorded seven swings and misses: two four-seam fastballs, two changeups, one sinker and one slider. He logged 11 called strikes, but none with his changeup or slider.

His fastball averaged 92.9 mph.

At the plate

Faced with an early one-run deficit, the Tigers answered in the third inning against Yankees right-hander Deivi Garcia, a 22-year-old who made two starts for New York last season.

Garneau, a 34-year-old journeyman, hit a 405-foot home run to left-center field with two outs in the third, tying the game at one run apiece. He has two homers in seven games this spring.

An efficient Garcia kept his pitch count to 37 and allowed one run on two hits over three innings. Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees’ closer, pitched a perfect fourth inning with one strikeout. Righty Luis Gil tossed in three scoreless innings with one walk and four strikeouts.

Candelario went 1-for-2 with one walk.

On the mound

The Yankees plated five runs in the sixth off right-handers Rony Garcia and Jason Foley.

Foley allowed a three-run homer to Cooper Bowman on a 94.4 mph sinker. Four runs were charged to Garcia, who recorded only one out, and one run was charged to Foley, who got two outs.

Right-hander Luis Castillo, from minor-league spring training, allowed one run in 1⅔ innings. Righty Jacob Barnes replaced Castillo with two outs in the eighth and escaped a jam with a three-pitch strikeout of Chaparro.

Barnes gave up one run in the ninth.

Three stars

1. Greene, 2. Reyes, 3. Garneau.

Up next

Wednesday vs. Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

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