Tigers 3, Dodgers 8: Curse you, J.D. Martinez

Bless You Boys

It was a late-night bummer in Dodgertown, as the Tigers dropped their first game to the Dodgers. So if you wisely decided to go to bed rather than watching this, then congrats, you made the right decision.

The outing saw Eduardo Rodriguez face the club he turned down during trade season, up against Lance Lynn, who the Dodgers did end up trading for at the deadline.

It’s been a long time since big nights for J.D. Martinez were good for the Tigers, and the former Tigers and Red Sox slugger would certainly have a big night.

In the first Zack McKinstry reached on a hit-by-pitch, then Kerry Carpenter got a two-out walk, but neither baserunner scored. Rodriguez did have a nice 1-2-3 bottom of the inning.

Tyler Nevin singled to start the second, then Javier Baez got a one-out walk. The Tigers once again left two baserunners stranded, and they waste early opportunities it never goes well, particularly against a top team like the Dodgers. Onto the home half and J.D. Martinez hit a solo home run to start things off. Rodriguez got the next three outs in order, but the Dodgers had tasted blood and they weren’t going to ease up.

Kerry Carpenter got a two-out double in the top of the first, but once again the baserunner didn’t make it to home plate. In the bottom half Miguel Rojas got a bunt single, Mookie Betts drew a walk, then Freddie Freeman singled to load the bases. A Will Smith sac fly scored Rojas. J.D. Martinez then homered again to score three runs, and the Dodgers were up 5-0 at the end of three innings.

Parker Meadows singled with one out in the top of the fourth, but also did not score. Baez popped out and Andre Lipcius lifted a fly ball to Mookie Betts in right for the final out. With Spencer Torkelson getting a night off, the chances off the offense making a comeback seemed poor at this point.

In the bottom of the inning Max Muncy singled to lead things off, then there was a lengthy game-play delay as Rodriguez was checked and ultimately pulled due to injury.

Chris Taylor called time in an 0-1 count, and home plate umpire Mark Ripperger signaled time out right as Rodriguez went into his motion. He cut it off and there was nothing obvious, but the left-hander began walking around the mound a little gingerly and A.J. Hinch and the training staff came out. One test pitch that went to the backstop later and Rodriguez was out of the game. Trey Wingenter came in out of the pen as a replacement. He got the next three outs in order.

In the postgame, manager A.J. Hinch described the injury as a scap spasm. So that seems likely to end Rodriguez’s season, and perhaps his time with the Tigers, but we’ll see how it plays out.

The top of the fifth saw Miguel Cabrera get a two-out single, followed by a Carpenter single, and then a Jake Rogers home run scored three. That was the Rogers 20th home run on the year, and his fourth round tripper in the last three games he’s played. The on-base percentage remains rough at .288, but Rogers’ power has carried him to a cool 100 wRC+ on the year.

In the bottom of the fifth the Dodgers went down in order as Wingenter did a good job handing him second inning of work.

The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth with Lance Lynn now out of the game.

In the bottom half Max Muncy got a two-out walk from Jose Cisnero, then Chris Taylor reached on an infield single when Baez bobbled the ball on a fairly tough backhander in the hole. Enrique Hernandez singled to score Muncy but tried to stretch it to two. Kerry Carpenter fired a throw low toward home plate and Tyler Nevin cut it off near the mound and got Hernandez trapped between first and second base for the final out of the inning. 6-3 Dodgers.

Once more the Tigers went down in order in the top of the seventh. Miguel Rojas homered in the bottom of the inning. Freddie Freeman drew a walk, then stole second. He was originally called out, but the Dodgers reviewed and the call was overturned. A J.D. Martinez single then scored Freeman.

The Tigers went three-up-three-down in the top of the eighth. They then returned the favor as Will Vest got the Dodgers out in order.

In the ninth the Dodgers took care of the Tigers easily and that was all she wrote for game 1.

Final: Dodgers 8, Tigers 3

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