It didn’t take long for Miguel Cabrera to reintroduce himself to the Detroit Tigers’ lineup. The future Hall of Famer played a pivotal role in Detroit’s 11-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles Monday night, as did Riley Greene and starting pitcher Tyler Alexander.
Miggy got the scoring going early by driving in Javier Báez during the first inning with a single to left-center field. Cabrera hadn’t played since September 2 because of a biceps injury that landed him on the injured list, but he looked much healthier and finished the night 2-for-4, including two well-struck balls that could have gone out with a little more barrel on them.
The Tigers opened things up some more in the fourth. Cabrera led off the inning with his second hit of the night and the bases quickly loaded thanks to a Spencer Torkelson single and Jonathan Schoop walk. Baltimore’s starter, Tyler Wells, walked Ryan Kreidler to bring home a run and end his night early. In came DL Hall, who struck out Tucker Barnhart looking, but he too gave up a free run on a wild pitch that scored Torkelson.
Detroit finally earned some runs in the inning on a single to left from Akil Baddoo that scored two, and then Riley Greene found the gap in right-center for an RBI double. The Tigers came out of the fourth with a 6-run lead, but they weren’t done there. Greene came through again in the fifth with another double that scored two more, moving him to three RBIs on the day and 35 through 79 major league games.
Kreidler added another insurance run in the sixth with an RBI single that scored Torkelson to make it 9-0. Normally, adding on to an 8-run lead would be welcomed by Tigers fans during a season as depressing as this one, but Tyler Alexander was carrying a no-hitter through six innings and getting cold on the bench.
Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander put an end to the bid with back-to-back singles to start the seventh, but Alexander struck out Jesus Aguilar and got Gunnar Henderson to ground into a double play to get out of the inning without giving up a run. It’s the second time he’s pitched through the seventh this year (fourth in his career) and the kind of start Alexander needed after a string of rough outings.
Of course, Alexander wouldn’t have made it as far as he did without some help. Báez snagged a line drive with a leaping play in the first, Greene made another nice grab as he crashed into the outfield wall to end the second and Kreidler speared a rocket to preserve things in the sixth.
Will Vest came in to replace Alexander in the eighth and picked up where he left off. He sat the Orioles down 1-2-3 and sent things to the ninth, which ended up being another decent inning for Detroit’s offense.
Kerry Carpenter started things off with a pinch-hit single in place of Cabrera, and Torkelson followed that up with a ground-rule double to put men on the corners. Schoop brought Carpenter in on a sacrifice fly and Kreidler did the same to get Torkelson in. 11-0, Detroit.
José Cisnero closed things out in the ninth, but he did run into a bit of trouble. After getting Terrin Vavra out on a foul tip strike three, Cisnero walked Adley Rutschman and Mountcastle to make things interesting. He got Kyle Stowers swinging with a nasty slider and finally retired Aguilar after a seven-pitch battle.
This was one of those rare games where everything goes right for the Tigers. Winning by double-digits is a bit of a rarity these days for Detroit, but the main players involved in this one provide a bit of hope for the future. Spencer Torkelson had a 3-hit day and both Riley Greene and Ryan Kreidler drove in three runs. Even Akil Baddoo drove in a pair on 2-of-5 hitting in the nine-hole.
In case you missed it, the Tigers hired a new president of baseball operations, former San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris. The news broke hours before the game started and we’re still processing things, but the early returns seem positive. Harris is a rising star that has recently overseen a rebuild in San Francisco and has experience building a World Series-caliber roster from his time with the Chicago Cubs.
For more on Harris, check out this article and stick with Bless You Boys for more updates.