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May 8, 2024 3:23 am

Tigers aim to build on offensive outburst vs. Guardians

Guardians, Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are coming off a needed offensive breakout that evened their three-game series with the Cleveland Guardians.

Now, they hope to build on that strong offensive performance and finally give Reese Olson some deserved run support on Wednesday in the series finale at Cleveland.

The Tigers entered Tuesday mired in a four-game losing streak during which they totaled seven runs. After going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position during a 2-1 loss to the Guardians on Monday, Detroit went 5-for-11 in those situations and matched its season high for runs in an 11-7 victory on Tuesday.

Andy Ibanez opened the game with a homer and clubbed a three-run shot in the second inning during his four-hit night. Meanwhile, Ryan Vilade, just called up from Triple-A Toledo, recorded his first two major league hits and first three RBIs in his Tigers debut. Vilade, 25, appeared in three games for the Colorado Rockies in 2021.

“We needed it, obviously, and I’m really proud of the group,” said Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, whose team overcame blowing an early 5-2 lead. Four Detroit relievers kept the Guardians scoreless for the final seven innings.

“A lot of contributors, and a fun win. And one we needed, obviously, considering the way we’ve been going.”

Detroit, however, has scored just four runs when scheduled Wednesday starter Olson (0-4, 2.70 ERA) has been on the mound during his six starts this season. Aside from yielding six runs at Pittsburgh in his second start of the campaign, Olson has been stellar despite being saddled with a 1.08 run-support average.

Olson allowed two hits and two walks over five scoreless innings in a 3-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Friday. He has yielded four earned runs over 23 1/3 innings of his past four starts, but his Tigers teammates totaled four runs while losing each of those contests.

“I’m sure I’ll have some outings where we are going to put up 10 runs and I give up five and I’ll get the win,” Olson said. “It’s just part of baseball.”

Olson is set for his first appearance against the Guardians, who had their three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday. Cleveland allowed a single run in each game during the streak before allowing a season-high run total on Tuesday.

“It’s a learning experience,” Guardians catcher Bo Naylor told Bally Sports Cleveland. “You’ve just got to come back and try to be better for the next time.”

Scheduled Guardians starter Tanner Bibee (2-1, 4.46) could use a bounce-back effort after he allowed six runs and eight hits, including two homers, in five innings in a 6-0 home loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. The right-hander had yielded three runs in 17 2/3 innings over his previous three starts.

Bibee also hopes to be better when facing the Tigers after he allowed seven runs, 12 hits and five walks over 8 2/3 innings while losing both starts against them in 2023. Those are his only two career outings vs. Detroit.

Ibanez, who is 12-for-33 (.364) with seven RBIs in 14 games this season, has a hit and walk in two plate appearances vs. Bibee.

Cleveland star Jose Ramirez is 5-for-11 with two homers and five RBIs in the past three games after going 0-for-17 in his previous five contests. Teammate Josh Naylor, who clubbed a two-run homer on Tuesday, is 5-for-12 with two home runs in his past four games.

–Field Level Media

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