Detroit Tigers all wet after rain delay, drop second straight game to Padres, 14-3

Detroit Free Press

Things seemed to be trending upwards for the Detroit Tigers early in Saturday’s game against the Padres, but the rain at Comerica Park from an hour and 24-minute weather delay cooled off their bats.

And the weather didn’t seem to help the Tigers’ bullpen much, either.

The Tigers dropped their second straight game in a three-game series against the Padres, 14-3.

Matt Manning’s (3-1, 3.19 ERA) night was cut short by the rain, pitching just two innings and recording two strikeouts and giving up one hit. Mason Englert was called in to replace him but struggled. In 2⅓ innings, he surrendered nine runs on 10 hits and recorded just one strikeout.

“(I) had a good second inning, kind of found myself and just sort of rained out way too long and I wish I could’ve gotten back out there because I thought I was starting to do some really good things,” Manning said.

Manning tried to hold on and resume his start, but the weather delay just ran too long.

“For about 45 minutes I was still in it, playing catch, working on it but once it was an hour, 90 minutes, started getting to the point of you know better safe than take the risk,” Manning said.

Padres starter Jackson Wolf (1-0, 5.46 ERA) made his MLB debut, going five innings and giving up three runs on six hits and recording one strikeout.

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Jake Rogers (one hit, one RBI) and Zack Short (one hit, two RBIs) helped the Tigers take a 3-0 lead in a rally that bridged the rain delay. But after that, the team could not convert on key opportunities and left runners on base. The best scoring chance came in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded, but they were unable to capitalize, leading to their fourth straight scoreless inning, a trend that would continue for the rest of the game.

The Tigers hope to avoid the sweep with Alex Faedo getting the nod on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

To make room for Faedo on the 26-man roster, the Tigers optioned reliever Brendan White to Triple-A Toledo after the game.

Rain, rain go away

The Tigers had a rhythm going in the bottom of the second, but while some speedy baserunning allowed them to score early, they could not outrun the rain. The game officially went into a weather delay at 6:38 p.m.

“We didn’t expect the biggest rainstorm to come. I think there was one cell that we knew was coming and it was a little north of us and then the big one kind of combined with that and all of a sudden, we were off the field for a long time,” Hinch said. “Outdoor baseball, this time of year, not a surprise.”

With two outs, Zach McKinstry advanced to third from first on a Miguel Cabrera single. An ominous sky awaited Rogers as he stepped up to the plate. He did his best to ignore it, taking no time to hit a line drive to right field for a double to score McKinstry, but Cabrera and Rogers would have to wait a while to cross home plate.

Once play officially resumed, Zack Short singled to center on the first pitch to score Cabrera and Rogers and extend the lead to 3-0.

Pitching change proves costly

With Manning sidelined from the rain delay, Englert was called in to take his place in the top of the third inning. He was tasked with a rather tough matchup against Juan Soto, who hit two monster home runs to center field on Friday night. Soto won yet another matchup with a Tigers pitcher with an RBI double to left to put the Padres on the board.

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Manny Machado followed that up with a three-run shot homer over the head of Matt Vierling in left field to take the lead. Englert remained on the mound in the fourth and gave up an RBI single just out of reach of shortstop Javier Báez.

Things only got worse for Englert in the fifth. Jake Cronenworth tripled to the right field corner to score Xander Bogaerts, and Luis Campusano’s RBI single gave the Padres a 7-3 lead. Englert then gave up a double to Alfonso Rivas that finally knocked him out of the game.

“We needed as much as we could get out of him (Englert) and we weren’t in a great place if the game changed in a couple different ways and that it was really important coming out of the rain delay to get as much out of Englert as we could,” Hinch said. “Obviously it’s a fine line because their offense put up a lot of hits. You’re trying to squeeze as many pitches out as you can. Once you fall behind, it’s even more critical to get further, deeper into the game.”

Juan Soto, Tiger killer

Soto showed Friday that he can change a game with a single swing and proved to be just as effective Saturday. Although the left fielder didn’t hit any long home runs to center this time, he still made his presence known with a three-RBI night on two hits and played a part in the five-run fifth inning.

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White was called in to try to pitch out of the mess in the fifth, but allowed two of Englert’s runners to score to make it 10-3 with four innings still to be played. After three straight scoreless innings, the Tigers finally threatened by loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but Vierling grounded out with two outs to end it.

While the Tigers remained gridlocked, the Padres continued to hit. Chasen Shreve came in for the Tigers, and while he did record three strikeouts in one inning of work, he also gave up a solo home run to Ha-Seong Kim. Not even José Cisnero could slow the Padres. who got a Campusano three-run homer to left on a 3-2 count.

Things got so out of control that Short was called in to pitch the final inning and recorded three straight outs.

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