Eric Haase ends home-run drought; his 5 RBIs send Tigers to victory over Mets

Detroit News

Detroit — Eric Haase, who had snapped his homerless streak earlier in the game, lined a two-out, two-run single to right field off All-Star reliever Adam Ottavino, sending the Tigers to a 6-5 win over the New York Mets in Game 1 of a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park.

Alex Lange pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save of the season.

It was still wet and chilly, but the ball was flying around the old ballpark.

Haase and Javier Báez both launched their first homers of the season and staked the Tigers to a fast 4-2 lead in Game 1 of the doubleheader.

Haase had gone homerless in his first 70 plate appearances before he lined a sinker from Mets lefty starter Joey Lucchesi into the plants above the right-field wall with two on in the first inning.

Tommy Pham and Mark Canha answered back in the second inning against Tigers lefty Joey Wentz. Pham lined an 0-2 curveball inside the foul pole in left. Canha hit a 1-1 fastball into the seats in right.

Báez, the former Met who has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games, locked onto a first-pitch breaking ball from Lucchesi and drove it 434 feet into the seats in left field for a solo homer to lead off the third. He had gone 100 plate appearances without a homer to start the season.

The Tigers’ defense, which has been a strength all season, got sloppy in the top of the fifth. Center fielder Riley Greene gave Brett Baty an extra base, booting his single. Baty ended up scoring on a single by Tomas Nido after left fielder Andy Ibanez airmailed a throw to the plate.

Baty had held up at third and scored when Ibanez’s throw caromed off catcher Jake Rogers.

Francisco Lindor finished the inning by jumping a second-pitch changeup from Wentz and sending it into the seats in left.

The Tigers’ bats went quiet after Báez’s blast. They didn’t put another runner on base through the seventh. Fifteen straight hitters were set down, 12 straight by right-handed reliever Jimmy Yacabonis.

Matt Vierling broke the drought with a one-out single in the eighth. He stole second. Báez was hit by a pitch and a grounder to first by Riley Greene set the table for Haase’s game-flipping single.

This series won’t get easier for the Tigers’ hitters. They face Max Scherzer in Game 2 Wednesday and Justin Verlander Thursday afternoon.

Twitter: @cmccosky  

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