Tigers 7, White Sox 6: Kelly, Canha create comeback for Detroit

Bless You Boys

The Detroit Tigers came out on top of a 10-inning affair against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, 7-6, claiming the season’s first series in two games.

It looked like things would be all Tigers early, but Kenta Maeda’s Tigers debut went sour by the second inning. The three-run lead spotted to him by the offense disappeared almost immediately and his day ended by the fourth.

Luis Robert Jr. belted two homers off Detroit’s new No. 2, the first off a fastball in the middle of the zone and the second off a hanging slider. Coming into the game, Maeda had held Robert to just one hit in 10 matchups. That one hit was a home run, though, meaning Robert is now 3-for-13 with three homers against Maeda.

The slider was the big issue for Maeda. He threw 23 in total with 74 percent landing in the strike zone. Maeda needs to throw his slider for strikes, but he wasn’t locating it at the bottom of the zone. Batters swung at 88 percent of those in-zone sliders, making contact on 80 percent of them.

Braden Shewmake also homered off the slider in the second inning, tying up the game at three runs each.

Detroit’s three first-inning runs came on a barrage of base hits to open the contest. Parker Meadows led off the game with a triple and Spencer Torkelson, and Spencer Torkleson singled him in with a 101.4-mph liner up to left-center. Mark Canha drove in Torkelson and Riley Greene a few batters later.

Maeda left in line for the loss and with men on the corners in the fourth, giving Alex Faedo his first opportunity out of the bullpen this season. Nicky Lopez baited a throw from Carson Kelly to second, trading an out for a run. Kelly gunned down Lopez, but Javier Baez had no shot to get the runner from third headed home after an acrobatic tag.

Faedo nearly gave up a double (or worse) to Martin Maldonado, but Parker Meadows leaped into the air, braced for impact and held onto the ball as he crashed into the centerfield wall. Meadows jogged back to the dugout without cracking a smile, but he let out an emphatic, “Let’s Go!” after coming down with it.

Canha hit Detroit’s first home run of the season in the fifth, cutting the White Sox lead down to two. The Tigers have a new home run celebration involving a spear and a stack of pizzas. Torkelson is the mastermind behind it, but it might take a bit for things to catch on with the fans.

Greene pulled Detroit within one in the seventh with a solo shot, and Kelly drove in Canha to tie it up. The hot start never really fizzled for Detroit, so it was only a matter of time before the Tigers reached six runs. The bigger question was how long the bullpen would hold staring down extra innings.

Faedo and Tyler Holton were solid in relief, but Alex Lange had a rough one. He walked the bases loaded in the eighth and got the hook in favor of Will Vest. Eloy Jimenez rifled a grounder to the hot corner, but Zach McKinstry handled the hop, touched third and got the ball across the diamond in time for an inning-ending double play. McKinstry got all the love in the dugout, but Torkelson deserves kudos for a nice pick at first.

Both clubs went down in order in the ninth, sending Detroit to extras for the first time in 2024. Mark Canha started the inning at second, and Kelly delivered his third hit of the day to put the Tigers ahead.

Shelby Miller stayed in to close it out. He got two outs on four pitches and struck out Dominic Fletcher to win it.

Maeda’s start didn’t go the right way, but everything else did for Detroit. Maybe Kelly shouldn’t have given up the run on the double steal, but a three-hit day including the game-tying and go-ahead hits will probably keep AJ Hinch from complaining.

The Tigers look… good (?) to start the year, but the White Sox aren’t a litmus test by any means. A series win is a series win, though.

Detroit and Chicago close out the series on Easter Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET. RHP Jack Flaherty goes for the good guys against RHP Erick Fedde.

Articles You May Like

Who should #detroittigers select in upcoming 2024 MLB Draft?
Tigers 11, Dodgers 9: A walk-off to remember
Pennsylvania Lottery Online Plays
Tigers select pitcher Ethan Schiefelbein with the 72nd pick in 2024 MLB Draft
Here’s a look at another five MLB Draft prospects who could interest the Tigers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *