As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. The Detroit Tigers have figuratively seen some rainy days recently, but Sunday afternoon, the skies opened full of bad pitching, errors and usual offensive inconsistency in a 8-1 loss.
The Tigers certainly started things out on the wrong foot, as rookie Robbie Ray struggled through the first inning, giving up two runs on three hits and losing his cool with a balk.
Detroit's offense was managing nothing off Chris Young through the first three innings. The Tigers got an early double from J.D. Martinez, but failed to score him. Rajai Davis turned a walk into a scoring chance thanks to a pair of steals, but the Tigers couldn't get him home with one out in the inning. Chris Denorfia tripled home a run in the very next inning, making it 4-0.
The Tigers put two runners on in the fifth with Young appearing to tire, but a weak groundout by Davis and lazy fly outs by Ian Kinsler and Ezequiel Carerra left Detroit still searching for answers. Seattle kept scoring, adding a run in the sixth off Jim Johnson, and scoring three more times in the inning to make their lead a comfortable 7-0 margin.
Both teams traded runs in the eighth inning with Victor Martinez plating Miguel Cabrera for Detroit's lone score of the afternoon. Otherwise, it was a dismal day that did not end quick, and a frustrating finish to the Tigers' latest home stand.
Top Tiger: None. Most of the afternoon, the team went through the motions on the mound and otherwise, and didn't get the job done in any facet of the action. It was a bad day for all involved. "We need to swing the bat better, period," Ausmus said after the game. It hasn't happened with enough consistency lately.
Bungling Bengal: Ian Kinsler. Since his hot first half, Kinsler has slowed down considerably, and his seen the average dip to .282. Sunday was one of his worst days recently, and it was punctuated by four lazy fly balls. With the Tigers threatening to score in the fifth, Kinsler failed to get the job done and so did Carrera. It was bad news from there on out for Detroit. As Ausmus said afterward, often times, all it takes is a few runs to string things together and start a rally. Detroit never did that on this day.
The Turning Point: Detroit fails to make use of a small rally in the fifth inning. Whenever Alex Avila and Andrew Romine reach base, it behooves the Tigers to make the runs count on the scoreboard. With the game still in reach, the Tigers couldn't add anything on the scoreboard for themselves, which helped to finish their cause on the day.
Stat Of The Game: 3, the number of errors the Tigers had, which was a disappointing return to trouble for Detroit. "It was a bad day all the way around," Brad Ausmus said when pressed on the errors. "We didn't have good at bats generally speaking, we didn't pitch well and we didn't play good defense, so that's a recipe for disaster." Ausmus didn't classify the errors as the main reason Detroit lost, but clearly, they played a role in showcasing the laziness the team is facing.
Quote To Note: "You can make the argument for us that we're better on the road, so I'm hoping it's true" —Brad Ausmus. Detroit heads away from Comerica Park for the next week, taking on the Tampa Bay Rays and will play plenty (15 of 18) on the road in the next few weeks, which may lead to some concern. Ausmus chose to look at things the other way, taking a positive approach.
What's Next: After a Monday off day, the Tigers head on the road to face the surging Tampa Bay Rays for three games. Tuesday, game one begins at 7:10 p.m. and Max Scherzer (14-4) will pitch against Chris Archer (8-6).
Max DeMara is the editor of @tigers_101. Follow the site there on Twitter, or like it on Facebook to connect with him.
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Tags: Baseball, Brad Ausmus, Chris Denorfia, Chris Young, Detroit, Detroit Tigers, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Jim Johnson, MLB, Rajai Davis, Robbie Ray