Tigers’ strong start fizzles out in Game 1 loss to Braves

Detroit News

Detroit — The Detroit Tigers started a scoring parade at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon.

And then the Atlanta Braves finished it.

Detroit jumped out to an early 4-0 lead behind homers from Spencer Torkelson, Eric Haase and Miguel Cabrera — his first of the season — but slowly saw the game slip away over the next seven innings in what resulted in a 10-7 loss in the first game of a doubleheader.

BOX SCORE: Braves 10, Tigers 7 (Game 1)

The Braves scored two runs in the third and five in the fourth, as Ronald Acuna Jr. had three hits with a three-run homer and Michael Harris was 4-for-4 with a solo home run and four RBIs.

On a 1-1 fastball from Spencer Strider, Torkelson mashed a home run 436 feet to left center — his second in as many games — in the first inning, nearly the exact same spot he put his home run on Monday night.

Cabrera took Strider deep in the second inning on a ball hit 406 feet to left, his first home run of the year. Haase hit his third homer in the very next at-bat, giving the Tigers back-to-back home runs for the second time this season and the first since a May 4 win over the New York Mets.

And then the comeback started.

Acuna cut the deficit in half during the third inning. After Harris hit a one-out single, Acuna fouled off two straight pitches before putting a 1-2 slider into the bullpen, 429 feet, to make it 4-2.

Tigers starter Reese Olson hit some more trouble in the fourth. He issued one-out walks to Eddie Rosario and Ozzie Albies, clearing the way for Orlando Arcia to score Rosario on a single to left that was misplayed by Kerry Carpenter and advanced runners to second and third, still with one out.

The next batter, Kevin Pillar, took Olson through an 11-pitch at-bat before scoring Albies on a hard hit ball to third that was bobbled by Nick Maton (ruled an error) and tied the game at 4. Harris then doubled after a seven-pitch at-bat to bring in two more runs and give the Braves a 6-4 lead. Olson threw 37 pitches in the inning before being pulled for lefty Tyler Holton, who gave up an RBI single to Acuna after racing out to an 0-2 count.

Olson (0-2, 6.08 ERA) went 3⅓ innings with five hits, seven runs, two walks and two strikeouts. He threw 89 pitches and 57 strikes.

A bases-loaded wild pitch gave the Tigers an additional run in the fifth to make it 7-5, but it was all they could muster as Andy Ibanez struck out swinging to end the frame.

Tigers right-hander Brendan White made his MLB debut in the sixth inning. White, taken in the 26th round of the 2019 draft, struck out two of three batters (Albies, Pillar) before giving up a home run to Harris in the seventh. He pitched two innings, gave up two hits and struck out three.

Strider’s day ended after the fifth, but the man who replaced him, Jesse Chavez, lasted only one batter. Cabrera hit a scorching liner back up the middle that hit the inside of Chavez’s leg and knocked him out of the game, as he had to be carried off.

The Braves added two insurance runs in the eighth to make it 10-5 and the Tigers attempted to fight back. They loaded the bases after Zach McKinstry scored Ibanez, but Matt Vierling struck out to end the eighth.

The Tigers made things interesting in the ninth after two quick outs. Ibanez singled, Cabrera hit yet another double (his fourth in four games) and Haase hit an RBI single to bring the tying run to the plate. The pinch hitter, Jonathan Schoop, bounced out to end the game.


Twitter: @nolanbianchi

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