Rockies 8, Tigers 5: Detroit can’t catch up in Colorado

Bless You Boys

The Detroit Tigers played from behind all night on Friday, eventually falling, 8-5, against the Colorado Rockies to open a three-game series on the road.

Michael Lorenzen cruised through the first, but the Rockies put up a five-spot against him in the second. C.J. Cron, Nolan Jones, Ezequiel Tovar and Harold Castro all singled consecutively to get the rally started. To rub a little salt in the wound, two of those players (Castro and Cron) played in Detroit within the last three years.

Brenton Doyle bunted safely to reload the bases, and Jurickson Profar singled in Castro and Tovar, making it 4-0. A Kris Bryant double play added one more run to Colorado’s total. Most of the Rockies’ hits came off stuff left over the plate.

Ironically, Ryan McMahon missed a changeup left up in the zone to strike out and end the inning. It’s rare to see a five-run inning in Colorado without any extra-base hits, but it’s become fairly common for Detroit to disappoint fans in new and (not so) exciting ways.

The Tigers’ offense did what they could over the next two innings to dig into the Rockies’ lead, scoring three runs on four hits. Jake Marisnick manufactured a run after singling to lead off the third. Marisnick stole second and moved to third after Elias Diaz sailed the ball into center field. Spencer Torkelson drove him in with a groundout to third.

Marisnick did a nice job getting Detroit on the board with his legs, and it jumpstarted some actual offense in the fourth. Javier Baez, Jake Rogers and Miguel Cabrera all singled to double Detroit’s score. A wild pitch from Colorado starter Austin Gomber made it 5-3, but Detroit stalled on offense and stranded men on the corners.

Miggy finished the month of June slashing .304/.394/.446, which is significantly up from his first two months of action. He’s played in 18 games this month after averaging around 13-14 through April and May. It’s time for the big man to say goodbye to professional baseball (as a player), but one more hot streak at the plate won’t kill him.

After the rough second inning, Lorenzen held things steady through the fifth. He found some command of his fastball and changeup, striking out two batters in his final inning of work. There’s a lot to like about Lorenzen when he’s on, but a lack of consistency is holding him back from being a piece worth planning around. If a team asks about him over the next month, he could easily get dealt.

Chasen Shreve took over for Detroit in the sixth. The left-hander walked Cron and gave up another single to Jones, putting two on for Tovar. Shreve put a splitter in a decent spot but the young Rockies shortstop barreled it up for a three-run dagger. 8-3, Rockies. Mason Englert took over after a two-out single from Profar and got out of the inning.

Bird took over for Gomber in the seventh after an efficient day for him on the mound. Gomber’s fastball had a little extra spin and his slider came in a mile faster than it typically does, freezing Detroit’s bats time and time again.

Detroit didn’t go down quietly, though. Andy Ibáñez took a hanging breaking ball from Jake Bird over the wall in left field for a two-run shot in the eighth. That opened up a glimmer of hope for a comeback, but it didn’t work out that way.

Englert pitched the final 2 13 innings of the game for Detroit to relative success. He remained effective despite seeing a dip in his velocity overall. His fastball (-2.1 mph), curveball (-1.6 mph) and slider (-2.6 mph) were all significantly down in velocity from his season averages. He’s been pushed hard lately.

Detroit fizzled out with a double play to erase a one-out base hit from Zack Short in the ninth inning. A fitting end to a game that never really felt in reach for the Tigers.

Some Good News

While things didn’t go so great on the field tonight, the Tigers got some good news on two members of the pitching staff. Trevor Thompson mentioned on the Bally Sports Detroit broadcast that Reese Olson was doing well after taking a ball off the knee last night and that Eduardo Rodriguez is ready to rejoin the major league club after just one rehab start in Toledo. With Matt Manning back and Tarik Skubal looking likely to make his next start in Detroit, things are looking up for the rotation assuming nothing else goes awry on the injury front.

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