MLB Baseball

Final-10 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   10 R H E
Minnesota0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 390
Detroit0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 4101
  W: G. Soto (1-0)   L: H. Robles (0-1)
10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE11:10 AM CT, April 6, 2021
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan  Attendance: 7,306

Tigers look to P Casey Mize to get back on track against Twins

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers

  1. The home team won nine of the 10 meetings between these teams last season, including a 3-0 sweep by the Tigers in Detroit in late August.
  2. Detroit won its first two games of the season against Cleveland before falling in Sunday's finale, 9-3. The Tigers' starting pitchers gave up just three runs in the series (1.69 ERA), while the bullpen surrendered 10 runs (8.18 ERA).
  3. Minnesota took two of three games in Milwaukee to open the season. Just two of the Twins' eight runs allowed over the three games were earned, leaving them with an MLB-best 0.67 ERA (2/27.0).
  4. Byron Buxton went 3-for-8 with two home runs and a double in the Milwaukee series. In 70 career games in the month of April entering 2021, Buxton had just one home run and a .184 batting average.
  5. Matt Shoemaker will make his Twins debut today after signing as a free agent in February. In six career starts against Detroit, Shoemaker is 4-1 with a 0.68 ERA (3/39.2) and no home runs allowed.
  6. Miguel Cabrera's 157 career RBI against the Twins are the third most by any active player against any franchise. He trails only Albert Pujols' 175 RBI against Houston and Cabrera's own 163 against Cleveland.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/5/2021 thru 4/7/2021

Casey Mize, the top pick in the 2018 MLB draft, made seven starts last season for the Detroit Tigers.

With a new coaching staff in place, that didn't guarantee him a spot in this year's rotation. Mize didn't secure his position in the starting five until he struck out nine batters in four innings during his final spring start.

He'll make his first regular-season start against Minnesota on Tuesday at Detroit's Comerica Park.

Mize, a 23-year-old right-hander, is still seeking his initial major league win. He was 0-3 with a 6.99 ERA last season while recording 26 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings.

A trio of those starts came against the Twins. He was 0-1 with an 8.49 ERA in those outings.

"He's made a lot of major league hitters look bad this spring," manager A.J. Hinch said. "There's going to be some growing pains, and if we expect him to be perfect, then we're setting him up for failure. So, the growth that needs to happen is going to have to happen at the big leagues."

Mize has the talent and assortment of pitches -- four-seam fastball, sinker, cutter, splitter and curve -- to live up to his draft status. Hinch is hopeful that Mize will remain a fixture in the rotation for many years to come.

"He has incredible stuff," Hinch said. "He's a great pitcher who's growing, maturing, and I'm not sure he's needed to do anything more than that (in his last spring outing)."

Mize will have to deal with a Twins lineup that battered Detroit pitching in the series opener on Monday. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz mashed two homers, including a grand slam, in a 15-6 Minnesota romp.

Cruz only had two at-bats in three games at Milwaukee, because the designated hitter is not being used in National League ballparks this season. The longtime Tiger killer wasted no time giving Detroit fits once again.

"He prepares for what he's going to be used for in every way," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He's fully prepared for his at-bats as they come but he also becomes the head cheerleader, too, and keeps everybody going, keeps everybody focused because he stays focused."

The Twins will start veteran left-hander J.A. Happ. The 38-year-old Happ only tossed 8 2/3 innings this spring but Baldelli isn't concerned.

"He's ready," Baldelli said. "I don't know any other way to say it than he's ready to go out there."

Happ spent the past two and a half seasons with the New York Yankees. He was 2-2 with a 3.47 ERA in nine starts last season. He's 3-2 with a 5.14 ERA in 12 career outings against Detroit.

Minnesota may have to go without leadoff hitter Luis Arraez for the rest of the series. He was removed early in the game on Monday with an apparent mid-body injury.

The lone bright spot for the Tigers on Monday was rookie Akil Baddoo, who hit a grand slam in the ninth inning. Baddoo also homered on the first pitch of his initial major league at-bat on Sunday.

"Clearly, that was the highlight of the day offensively for us at the end," Hinch said. "We can take that momentum that we had and bring it into tomorrow with a chance to win another game."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 5, 2021

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