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Apr 21, 2024 9:48 am

Tigers hope to end fielding woes in series finale vs. Twins

detroit tigers

It’s starting to look like the excitement that comes from the start of a new season is wearing off for the Detroit Tigers.

After opening the campaign on a five-game winning streak, Detroit has gone 6-10. The Tigers will attempt to break out of their rut on Sunday afternoon when they wrap up a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis.

Detroit won the series opener on Friday before collecting just five hits in its 4-3 setback Saturday. The Tigers committed two errors, including one miscue by first baseman Spencer Torkelson that allowed a run to score.

It marked the fourth straight game with at least one error for Detroit, which has at least two errors in three of those contests.

“It’s not the unknown; you’ve got to handle the ball,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said after Thursday’s three-error showing against the Texas Rangers. “When you mishandle the ball and give the other side extra outs or (an) extra 90 (feet) or whatever, it puts you in a really, really tough spot.”

Right-hander Casey Mize (0-0, 4.11 ERA) will hope for a cleaner defensive effort when he takes the mound for Detroit on Sunday.

In his most recent outing, Mize gave up two runs on five hits in six innings against Texas on Tuesday.

Mize is 0-3 with a 6.31 ERA in six career starts against Minnesota.

The Twins will counter with fellow right-hander Louie Varland (0-3, 8.36), who most recently was tagged for six runs (four earned) and 11 hits in five innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Varland took the loss, his third in three starts this season.

“It’s multiple starts in a row where he threw the ball reasonably well but needs to make better pitches when he gets to two strikes,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Those pitches that are in the middle of the zone, those are not quality pitches.”

Sunday will mark Varland’s second career start against the Tigers. He worked 4 1/3 innings against them on June 18, 2023, taking the loss after permitting six runs on nine hits.

Varland will have to contend with rookie outfielder Wenceel Perez, one of the few bright spots for Detroit on Saturday.

Perez went 1-for-4 with an RBI triple and is 4-for-9 (.444) with three RBIs, two runs and two triples in the series.

“One of the best things I like about Wenceel,” Hinch said, “is he’s in the moment. He is emotional, meaning he’s into it.”

Meanwhile, outfielder Austin Martin has been carrying a Twins offense that has failed to score more than four runs in each of its past seven games. Minnesota had lost five straight before Saturday’s victory.

Martin has put together a six-game hitting streak, though, going 8-for-24 (.333) with three RBIs during that stretch. He had a pair of hits on Saturday.

The Twins and Tigers already have met six times in 2024; the season series is tied.

–Field Level Media

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