Detroit Tigers go from no-hit to 6-1 win over Giants with big 5th inning

Detroit Free Press

San Francisco Giants right-hander Logan Webb entered the fifth inning with a no-hitter intact.

He exited with two outs and six earned runs.

The Detroit Tigers loaded the bases with one out; with two outs, they rattled off three straight singles to chase Webb. A two-run double from Willi Castro off lefty reliever Thomas Szapucki capped the offensive outburst in the fifth.

Those six runs backed another dominant performance from right-hander Matt Manning and propelled the Tigers to a 6-1 win over the Giants in Wednesday’s series finale at Comerica Park.

“We wanted to get the ball up and get the ball in the air,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “We did not execute that plan early, and he exploited us. But once we got the first one, we started having some pretty good at-bats. … Some two-out at-bats were really impressive, and it just never ended.”

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The Tigers (48-77) finished with eight hits, three walks and 13 strikeouts. In his seventh start this season, Manning tossed six scoreless innings, gave up five hits, did not concede a walk and struck out eight batters.

“I just made pitches when I had to,” Manning said. “I didn’t come out of the gate super-sharp, but as the game went on, I had a good second inning. After that, I was trying to put some good at-bats together, make sure I didn’t walk people and get as many first-pitch strikes as possible.”

Manning’s outing dropped his ERA to 2.37 and made him Detroit’s fifth starter since 2000 to allow 10 runs or less in his first seven games in a single season, following Matthew Boyd (2021, 10 runs), Jordan Zimmermann (2016, 10 runs), Max Scherzer (2014, nine runs) and Justin Verlander (2013, nine runs).

The 24-year-old gave up seven of his 10 runs in two outings: Aug. 2 (three runs against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field) and Aug. 13 (four runs against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field).

“He’s pitching well, and I think he knows it,” Hinch said. “It’s a good vibe around him right now. He’s entirely confident. He’ll face another challenge next week, but it’s good to see him on the mound with that kind of focus.”

From no-hit to breaking through

With Webb shoving, the Tigers flipped the momentum by loading the bases with one out: Jeimer Candelario singled, Tucker Barnhart doubled and Akil Baddoo drew a six-pitch walk.

“There’s no magic recipe,” Hinch said. “It starts with getting a good pitch. It sounds overly simplified, and it’s not easy. But if you get a good pitch, you got a chance. Akil is a perfect example of an at-bat that could’ve gone sideways if he doesn’t stay disciplined and tries to play hero and swings outside the zone. Then, the inning is probably likely over.”

Rookie Riley Greene was called out on strikes, but the Tigers didn’t succumb to the two-out pressure. Victor Reyes turned a slider into a two-strike, two-run single that deflected off shortstop Brandon Crawford’s glove and trickled into center for a 2-0 lead.

Kody Clemens — the replacement for Javier Báez, scratched just before first pitch with back spasms — put a two-strike slider into right for an RBI single and a 3-0 lead.

“It was quick,” Clemens said. “I was told just after 1 o’clock. But you just flip the switch. I was ready and happy to get in there and play. … That inning was huge. We had to make an adjustment off Webb early. His changeups and sliders were down, so we all made an adjustment. We were talking about it in the dugout.”

Harold Castro, known for his singles, did what he does best. His single on a second-pitch slider scored Reyes for a 4-0 advantage. After Szapucki took over, Willi Castro hammered a two-run double to left field. The Tigers’ second extra-base hit extended the margin to six runs.

The Tigers went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Webb allowed six runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 4⅔ innings.

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Manning takes over with a lead

After the offense perked up, Manning slammed the door on the Giants in the sixth inning to finish his stellar performance. He struck out the side: Wilmer Flores (slider, swinging), Joc Pederson (slider, looking) and Evan Longoria (slider, swinging).

“Just emptying the tank,” Manning said. “They gave me a cushion, and I didn’t want to waste it.”

The revamped slider has been Manning’s advantage since returning from the injured list in early August. He used the breaking ball to perfection Wednesday, recording 12 of his 16 swings and misses with the slider.

The Giants had runners on the corners with two outs in the first inning, but Manning struck out Longoria on three straight pitches. He threw an 84 mph slider for a called strike, a 93.7 mph four-seam fastball for a swinging strike and a 95.8 mph four-seamer for a swinging strike.

All three pitches were in the strike zone.

“It’s a very effective weapon against right-handed hitters,” Barnhart said of Manning’s slider. “Curveballs are generally easier to hit for right-handed hitters than the slider, but the constant evolution of the slider is a direct indication of how he’s pitching the way he’s pitching. He’s dominant.”

A leadoff double from Pederson in the fourth inning didn’t hurt Manning, as he retired three straight batters. Longoria struck out, Crawford flied out to center field and Thairo Estrada struck out.

For his 95 pitches (66 strikes), Manning fired 44 four-seam fastballs (46%), 33 sliders (35%), nine curveballs (9%), five sinkers (5%) and four changeups (4%). His slider produced 12 whiffs and eight called strikes for an elite 61% called-strike-plus-whiff rate.

His fastball, which averaged 93.5 mph and topped out at 96.8 mph, earned him four whiffs and nine called strikes.

“I’m throwing the ball pretty well right now,” Manning said. “I feel good with all my pitches. I wish I could give my changeup some more usage, but overall, I made pitches when I had to. For not as good of command as my other two outings, it worked out good.”

No shutout for Tigers

The Giants finally scored in the seventh inning.

Facing right-handed reliever Will Vest, Mike Yastrzemski singled with two outs to keep the inning alive. Joey Bart ambushed the next pitch, a fastball, for another single, and Tommy La Stella also notched a single.

La Stella’s single scored Yastrzemski and sparked a mound visit from pitching coach Chris Fetter. Before Vest’s troubles turned into a full-fledged rally, Fetter got him back on track for a matchup with LaMonte Wade Jr., who went down swinging for the third out.

Righty Alex Lange pitched a scoreless eighth inning and left-handed closer Gregory Soto handled the ninth.

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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