Detroit Tigers rally after Alex Faedo injury, top Guardians 5-3 to sweep doubleheader

Detroit Free Press

Jonathan Schoop walked into the clubhouse at Comerica Park on Monday morning in the middle of a season long slump.

He left feeling like one of the hottest hitters in baseball, after the best 12 hours of his season.

Following a perfect 4-for-4 day in Game 1, Schoop picked up where he left off in Game 2, going 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

That buoyed the offense early before RIley Greene drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and Eric Haase hit a solo shot in the seventh, propelling the Tigers to a 5-3 win, and a sweep of the double-header.

The Tigers are now 32-47 on the season.

Schoop got the scoring started early, leading off the third inning with a double to the wall for his fifth hit in as many at bats on the day. After advancing to third on a Victor Reyes ground ball to the right side, Greene came to the plate.

The rookie hit a chopper with one out to second baseman Andres Gimenez, Schoop broke for the dish immediately and used a textbook hook slight around the outside of the plate to beat the tag by Sandy Leon.

With the way Alex Faedo was pitching early, that early lead felt pretty good for the Tigers.

After three rough outings in a row for Faedo, the rookie making the 11th start of his career, cruised through three innings, needing just 40 pitches while scattering one hit and one walk.

Then, the fourth inning happened.

Faedo allowed an Amed Rosario leadoff walk, followed by a Jose Ramirez single, Franmil Reyes double, Andres Gimenez sac fly and Owen Miller single.

All of a sudden, a one-run lead became a two-run deficit. He wouldn’t make it out of the frame.

After inducing a pop up to get to two outs, the 26-year-old issued consecutive walks to the eight and nine hitters — Sandy Leon and Oscar Mercado — prompting a mound visit from manager A.J. Hinch and assistant athletic trainer Matt Rankin.

Faedo threw a few test pitches, before he was pulled with right-hip soreness, according to the team.

Tyler Alexander came in with the bases loaded and got Steven Kwan to line out to center with the bases loaded and avoid any further damage.

The Tigers were given a gift in the bottom of the fourth, as they began to claw their way back. Eric Haase led off the inning with a little league pop-up in front of the mound, as both starter Konnor Pilkington and catcher Sandy Leon converged.

The two nearly collided before the ball bounced off Pilkington’s glove and rolled to the backstop, allowing Haase to get all the way to second base.

After Spencer Torkelson grounded out on a 104.6 mph shot, Harold Castro beat out an infield single that was overturned after he was initially called out on the field.

That brought up Jonathan Schoop, with runners on the corners, who singled — his sixth consecutive hit — to plate Haase and cut the lead in half. Reyes followed with a fielders choice, plating Castro, to knot the game at three.

That’s the way the contest would stay until the sixth. Torkelson led the inning off with a single, followed by a Castro strikeout and Schoop line out — which he hit 105.6 mph.

Reyes ripped a 3-2 fastball into right field to advance Torkelson to third base, before Greene stepped to the plate and hit another chopper. This time, it trickled just over the pitchers mound, leaving no chance for a play as he reached on an infield single.

Greene has reached base in 14 of his 15 career MLB games.

Haase would provide the fireworks in the next frame. After two quick outs to start the seventh, Haase got a hanging curveball on the first pitch and blasted it to left field, going 389 feet at 106.6 mph beyond the bullpen to put the Tigers up by two.

Brilliant bullpen

The bullpen, which has been the bright spot for the Tigers this season shined again.

Coming in on short notice in the fourth, Alexander got out of a bases loaded jam. That set the tone for his day, throwing 3⅓ scoreless innings, while allowing just two singles and no walks.

Since returning from the injured list in the middle of June, Alexander has allowed just one earned run in 13⅓ innings on eight hits, six walks and seven strikeouts.

Alex Lange followed suit in the eighth inning when he went up against the heart of the Guardians order.

He needed four pitches to strikeout Rosario on a curveball, seven pitches before getting Ramirez to swing through a 95 mph sinker and three pitches before setting Reyes down on curveball to punchout the side in order.

After using Michael Fulmer and Gregory Soto in Game 1, Hinch turned to Joe Jimenez to close out Game 2.

Contact Tony Garcia at apgarcia@freepress.com. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.

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