Detroit Tigers lineup at Cleveland Guardians: Matt Vierling gets more work at 3B, hits 3rd

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers (55-67) vs Cleveland Guardians (59-64)

When: 7:10 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Progressive Field in Cleveland.

TV: Bally Sports Detroit.

Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1 in Detroit; Tigers radio affiliates).

Probable pitchers: Tigers RHP Matt Manning (4-4, 4.60 ERA) vs. Guardians RHP Tanner Bibee (9-2, 2.90 ERA).

• Box score

Tigers lineup:

1. LF Akil Baddoo.

2. CF Riley Greene.

3. 3B Matt Vierling.

4. 1B Spencer Torkelson.

5. RF Kerry Carpenter.

6. DH Miguel Cabrera.

7. SS Javier Báez.

8. 2B Zach McKinstry.

9. C Jake Rogers.

RHP Matt Manning.

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Game notes: We’ll start the intro to Game 3 of the four-game series with the usual warning about Cleveland slugger José Ramirez. The switch-hitter has had no problems against righty Matt Manning, whose start was pushed from Friday night to tonight. In six plate appearances, Ramirez has two hits — a double and a home run — with four RBIs. Still, those matchups came in 2021, when Manning was still a rookie. More recently, Manning is coming off a sharp outing in Boston that saw him allow one run on two hits (albeit with an uncharacteristic three walks) over 5⅓ innings. Which Manning will show up in Cleveland? That one (who also threw 6⅔ innings of hitless ball in the Tigers’ no-no at the beginning of July), or the one who was whacked for 24 hits and 17 earned runs in 16⅔ innings from July 27-Aug. 6? No matter what happens, we know this: Don’t challenge Ramirez to a fight.

The Guardians, meanwhile, will have righty Tanner Bibee on the mound. It has been a rapid rise to the majors for the Cal State Fullerton alumnus (just like the Freep’s own Carlos Monarrez), as the 2021 fifth-round pick (No. 156 overall) entered this season as the No. 65 prospect in baseball (according to MLB Pipeline) and was called up in late April. So far, so good, as Bibee has allowed three earned runs or less in 17 of his 19 starts while racking up 106 strikeouts in 108⅔ innings. Bibee leans heavily on his four-seam fastball, throwing it 478% of the time, with a slider (27.7%) and changeup (15.7%) to change up the look. It’s a good fastball, too, with a run value (plus-10) that ranks in the top 20 in the majors this season.

Of course, one of those two games in which he gave up more than three earned runs came against the Tigers on May 8, in his third career start — Bibee was tagged for four earned runs on seven hits and four walks with just two strikeouts over 3⅔ innings. Three of those runs came in the third inning in Cleveland when five of the first six Tigers in the inning picked up hits, including a double from Nick Maton on a (what else?) four-seam fastball.

After tonight’s game, the Tigers and Guardians wrap up their series with a 1:40 p.m. start Sunday. The two squads won’t reunite until a season-ending three-game set in Detroit at the end of September. The Tigers won’t get much rest after the weekend, though, with a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs — and ex-teammate Michael Fulmer — starting Monday night in Detroit. The Guardians, though, have Monday off before the NL West-leading L.A. Dodgers hit town for a three-game set starting Tuesday.

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Live updates

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Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.  

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