The Tigers beat the Royals 4-3 on Tuesday night in Detroit to claim their first home win of the 2020 season. Making his major league debut, rule 5 pick Rony Garcia gave up all three innings as the Tigers gave in, but showed promise during his short start. The Tigers are now 3-2 in this young season.
Garcia started off and got through his first two innings of work, securing one-two-three innings consecutively to start his career, but then struggled in the third. With one out and one on, Brett Phillips hit a ground rocket at first base which ricocheted off CJ Cron’s glove. The ball bounced off Garcia, and instead of clinging to it, he first threw the ball wildly over Cron’s head.
The two mistakes paved the way for certified tiger killer Whit Merrifield to come to the plate with two juicy steaks sitting on the second and the third just begging to be brought home. Merrifield, after completing a shy triple of the cycle on Monday night, did what he did against the Tigers and sent a 0-1 quickball over the left field wall to give the Royals a 3-0 lead . Merrifield would only go 1-4 on the night, but still hit the ball hard in three of his bats.
Garcia would respond with confidence to take out Jorge Soler and Adalberto Mondesi to complete the round as well as his exit. Overall, he finished with two earned runs in three innings with three strikeouts, three hits and no walks.
The Tigers responded in the lower half of the inning with a few explosions. After JaCoby Jones was pierced in the helmet with a fastball, Tyler Zuber came to the aid of starter Kyle Zimmer. Fortunately, the radiator caught Jones in the face guard and he was shaken but stayed in the game. Zuber flew Niko Goodrum to center for the first outing of the round, but Jonathon Schoop followed by throwing his first home run in a Tigers uniform, a bomb from over 440 feet into the bushes in the dead center field.
But the offense was not yet over. After a two-strikeout march to Cron, Christin Stewart erupted for his first hit of the season, a home run of over 400 feet to center-left to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.
From there, the tiger enclosure – gulp – locked the game down with no real drama. Tyler Alexander pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings. Jose Cisnero then threw a one-two-three sixth. Gregory Soto came in in seventh and once again looked absolutely dominant, dotting the strike zone with 99 mph fastballs to pair with a power slider. He went one-two-three on just eight shots with two strikeouts. Buck Farmer threw a solid eighth inning with no base runners, then, closer, Joe Jimenez won his third stoppage of the season finishing a perfect ninth with a three-length strikeout from Salvador Perez.
The Tigers and Royals meet for the third of four games at 7:10 p.m. ET Wednesday, with Matt Boyd making his second start of the year for the home team.