The suddenly hot Detroit Tigers will seek their fifth straight win Tuesday night when they face the Tampa Bay Rays in the middle contest of a three-game series at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Harold Castro provided the late fireworks Monday night in the series opener, homering off All-Star reliever Andrew Kittredge with two outs in the ninth. His solo shot gave Detroit a 3-2 win.
Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was disappointed in the lack of offensive production against Detroit’s Alex Faedo in his third career start. The right-hander limited the Rays to a run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
“We’ve got to do a little bit more offensively early in the ballgame,” Cash said. “We’re just not getting it done to the point we’re capable of.”
Cash will also be without one of his best power hitters this week.
Curiously left out of the Tampa Bay order for the third time in five games when the lineups were revealed Monday afternoon, Brandon Lowe was soon placed on the 10-day injured list due to lower back discomfort.
The team recalled former Detroit infielder Isaac Paredes from Triple-A Durham to fill the fifth-year veteran’s spot on the roster.
A 2019 All-Star, Lowe has gotten off to a slow start. The lefty hitter is batting .212 with two triples, five homers and 12 RBIs in 32 games.
The Tigers, coming off a weekend sweep of the Baltimore Orioles and already a game up in the current series, Detroit will hand the ball to Beau Brieske (0-2, 3.86 ERA) on Tuesday.
While the right-hander’s numbers have been mostly good across four starts, the rookie hurler needs to improve in two areas of control — finding the strike zone and keeping the ball in the yard.
However, in a 93-pitch outing against the Oakland A’s on Thursday, he tossed six innings and for the first time didn’t allow a homer in a start.
After the A’s scored three runs (two earned) against Brieske in the first inning, he settled in and strung together five scoreless frames in his longest outing of his career, though the Tigers lost 5-3.
“I did love the fact that he came back and battled and got us deeper into the game,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “Not only did he stay in the game, he kept us in the game and pitched very effectively afterward. That’s encouraging.”
Brieske will oppose Tampa Bay for the first time.
Detroit is down two outfielders, as former Rays player Austin Meadows (vertigo) and Victor Reyes (right quad strain) were removed from the Sunday game and placed on the IL.
The club recalled Faedo and outfielder Daz Cameron from Triple-A Toledo to fill the spots.
Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan (2-2, 2.52 ERA) will look to continue a strong month when he starts on Tuesday. In two trips to the mound during May, he is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA over 12 1/3 innings. He has allowed only six hits — a .143 batting average — and two runs while striking out 16 and walking three.
Against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, the left-hander held the home side scoreless over seven inning and matched a career high with 11 strikeouts.
In his lone appearance against Detroit, last Sept. 19, McClanahan allowed just one run — a homer to Eric Haase — in five innings but was saddled with the defeat as the Rays dropped a 2-0 decision at home.
–Field Level Media