Michael Lorenzen bit in 7th inning of Detroit Tigers’ 11-6 loss

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Lorenzen cruised into the seventh inning with momentum.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, though, stole the momentum, took the lead, chased Lorenzen from his start and put a lopsided number on the scoreboard. Back-to-back doubles, plus a timely sacrifice bunt, led to Lorenzen’s downfall.

The Tigers lost, 11-6, in Friday’s series opener at Comerica Park for their seventh loss in a row.

“You’d hope to get a better pitching performance out of me when they turn it on,” Lorenzen said of the Tigers’ six runs, the most they’ve scored in a single game this month. “I’m frustrated with myself for not being able to finish it off.”

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The Tigers (26-35) allowed seven runs in the seventh inning.

The first run took place when Lorenzen surrendered back-to-back doubles to Christian Walker (four-seam fastball) and Emmanuel Rivera (sinker), putting the Diamondbacks ahead 3-2. Then, Josh Rojas dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance Rivera to third base.

Jake McCarthy slapped a single into left field for a 4-2 advantage with one out, and with two outs, Jose Herrera singled to center. The single from Herrera chased Lorenzen from his start.

Catcher interference by Jake Rogers — when home plate umpire James Hoye determined Rogers’ glove made contact with the bat — loaded the bases.

“I thought they were out of the box (swinging),” Rogers said. “That’s why I thought they kept hitting me. I’ve had one other earlier this year, and I’ve never had it happen twice in a game. … It’s ridiculous. I hate that it happened. I wished it didn’t.”

Right-handed reliever Will Vest, who replaced Lorenzen, walked Ketel Marte to give the Diamondbacks another run and a 5-2 lead.

Corbin Carroll, a 22-year-old rookie, hit a seventh-pitch fastball down the left-field line and inside the foul pole for a grand slam — his second home run Friday. The Diamondbacks took a 9-2 lead and never looked back.

It was Carroll’s first multi-homer game and first grand slam in his 91-game MLB career. This season, the 2019 No. 16 overall pick is hitting .303 with 13 home runs in 59 games; he’s the frontrunner for NL Rookie of the Year.

“The walk to Marte really hurt, and then Carroll is a star in the making,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Really, the inning got away from us. There was a lot of issues with it. We couldn’t get it to end, and they put up some really good at-bats.”

The Diamondbacks added their 10th and 11th runs against righty reliever Garrett Hill in the eighth and ninth innings.

The early runs

The Diamondbacks scored one run apiece in the first and second innings.

In the first, Carroll hit a first-pitch four-seam fastball from Lorenzen over the wall in right field for a solo home run. Lorenzen threw first-pitch fastballs to the first two batters of the game before Carroll stepped to the plate.

“I kept attacking them, and it worked throughout the middle of the game,” Lorenzen said. “In that seventh inning, they just had those two doubles and hit them where guys weren’t. That’s just the way it goes.”

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The Diamondbacks collected their second run after Rivera’s single to open the second inning. A sacrifice bunt from McCarthy advanced Rivera to second base, and with two outs, Geraldo Perdomo delivered a single to right field for a 2-0 lead.

After a leadoff walk in the third inning, Lorenzen retired the next 12 batters he faced before running into extra-base trouble in the seventh inning. He allowed six runs on seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts across 6⅔ innings.

Lorenzen threw 57 of 86 pitches for strikes.

“They were coming out swinging,” Lorenzen said. “The report is that I throw a lot of strikes, so when you have a team coming out swinging, you’re just hoping that they’re hitting the balls where your defenders are. In the seventh inning, they didn’t hit balls where the defenders were. That’s the game. It’s frustrating.”

Six runs not enough

Kerry Carpenter returned from the injured list and picked up two hits in four plate appearances. Zack Short, the next batter in the lineup, took advantage of opportunities to drive in runs and keep the Tigers in the game through the first six innings.

He hit an RBI double in the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.

Entering the seventh, the Tigers and Diamondbacks were tied at two runs.

“I am encouraged by the at-bats tonight,” Hinch said. “I think they were better at-bats. … It’s hard to take positive things out of losses, especially when they’re piling up, but spending time wasting energy on the ‘woe is me’ part of this isn’t going to work.”

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After the Diamondbacks scored seven runs in the seventh inning, Rogers got a run back for the Tigers with a solo home run off right-hander Merrill Kelly’s 90.5 mph four-seam fastball on the first pitch.

In his 13th start, Kelly allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts, throwing 63 of 92 pitches for strikes. He generated 13 whiffs with four fastballs, five changeups, two curveballs and two cutters.

Kelly averaged 92.2 mph with his fastball.

Spencer Torkelson, who finished 2-for-3 with one walk, doubled to right-center and scored in the eighth inning on Nick Maton’s single, cutting the deficit to 10-4. Rogers drilled his second home run in the ninth to make it 10-5.

Rogers, hitting .171, leads the Tigers with eight home runs.

“I felt good at the plate,” Rogers said. “I got a little mad in my first at-bat because he blew three heaters by me. After that, I just didn’t want him to beat me again and got some good pitches to hit.”

Javier Báez hit a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning for the Tigers’ sixth and final run.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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