Tigers shut out for record-tying 22nd time, win streak ends at six

Detroit News

Detroit — At least Tigers manager AJ Hinch kept his sense of humor after such a dreadful performance.

After the Minnesota Twins stopped the Tigers’ six-game winning streak with a 7-0 win at Comerica Park Friday, he was asked about infielder Kody Clemens making his seventh pitching appearance of the season.

“Can we call him a position player and a pitcher now,” he said, tongue-in-cheek after Clemens pitched a scoreless ninth. “His velocity range was 46-77 mph, 20-inch vertical break — characteristics you like. He put up a zero spot on a night when we didn’t get a lot of zeros.

“He was one of the salvaging, positive signs from tonight.”

It was the 22nd time the Tigers have been shut out this season, tying the Major League single-season record in the designated-hitter era.

“I’ve had enough of Joe Ryan,” Hinch said of Twins’ right-handed rookie starter Joe Ryan who hushed the Tigers bats for six innings. “The guy is really good.”

Ryan used his fastball as the muzzle.

He threw 25 of them, half of his pitch total. The Tigers swung at 17, missed four, took seven for called strikes, fouled off six and the six they put in play they did so softly – average exit velocity of 74 mph.

“He beat us with the fastball and obviously the chase slider when we had to anticipate the fastball,” Hinch said. “If you don’t beat him to the spot with the fastball, it’s tough. His vertical movement is great, he changes his pace, the slide-step fastball was very effective. He disrupts your timing and he throws enough strikes to get you defensive.”

Ryan scattered five singles, two by Harold Castro. The Tigers stranded six runners and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against Ryan. He got rookie Spencer Torkelson twice with two runners on.

Box score:Twins 7, Tigers 0

Torkelson is in a 2-for-27 rut with 10 strikeouts. Ryan punched him out twice, both times looking. Torkelson was called out on strikes again in the ninth inning.

“He’s getting a little stacked on his backside again and getting indecisive in the zone,” Hinch said. “Which is bound to happen when you are starting to chase results and you are running out of at-bats. He hasn’t said anything but mentally I think he is getting more and more frustrated.

“When I see him in between pitches like that, I think of where his set-up is and where his timing mechanism is and it looks like he’s struggling to find it right now.”

For Tigers starter Tyler Alexander, the night was, to use his word, weird.

He came in having allowed just one run in 13 innings over his last two starts. He was razor sharp in both outings. And in his five innings here Friday night, he tied a season-high with five strikeouts and got 14 misses on 44 swings.

His stuff, in other words, seemed pretty good. His ability to command and locate his pitches, on the other hand, was not.

“Yeah, I thought I had really good stuff, but poor command at times,” Alexander said. “It was weird. I’d lose it on one batter and then lock it back in. When I’d lose it, I’d lose it. I would randomly through four uncompetitive balls. The walks weren’t even close.”

He walked a season-high four and was at 90 pitches and done after five innings.

More:Tigers reward seven-year minor-leaguer Brendon Davis with first big-league call

“His last two innings were 20-plus pitch innings and that’s uncharacteristic for him,” Hinch said. “He’s usually more efficient. It’s a small margin for error, not only with their hitters but seeing that lineup turn over. The walks make you face the better part of their lineup more often.”

Two of the three runs that Alexander gave up were driven in by left-handed hitters – a double by Mark Contreras and a single by Jake Cave.

The Twins broke the game open with a three-run seventh. Right-hander Miguel Diaz, making his Tigers debut, pitched a clean sixth but he walked Contreras to start the sixth. Contreras quickly got to the third base on a stolen base (huge jump on Diaz) and a wild pitch.

Ryan struck out eight.

The Twins broke the game open with a three-run seventh. Right-hander Miguel Diaz, making his Tigers debut, pitched a clean sixth but he walked Contreras to start the sixth. Contreras quickly got to the third base on a stolen base (huge jump on Diaz) and a wild pitch.With one out, right-hander Will Vest was summoned. He threw a first-pitch fastball to Carlos Correa who smoked it over the fence in left-field, his 22nd homer of the season.

Hinch brough in Will Vest to face Carlos Correa.

“I know AJ, he told him to throw me a first-pitch fastball,” Correa, who played for Hinch in Houston, told reporters.

Correa hit a Vest’s first pitch, a 95-mph fastball, over the fence in left.

“He’s going to ambush,” Hinch said. “He’s been trying to leave (the yard) the last week or two, I’ve been watching the video. He’s been emptying his tank on most of his swings. He certainly reacted right to that pitch. Looking back you kind of wish you had a little wrinkle in it or something if he was going to be that aggressive.

“But he beat us to the spot and it was a big blow. We were trying to keep the game close.”


Twitter: @cmccosky

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