The Detroit Tigers are hoping a quick stop at home will get them back on track.
A week ago, they moved a game over .500 by finishing off a six-game winning streak. They’ve now lost five of their past six heading into a two-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers that begins Tuesday at Comerica Park.
Detroit’s manager has also been struggling due to health issues. Ron Gardenhire did not lead the team the past two days, including in a 6-2 loss at Minnesota on Monday, due to gastrointestinal issues.
“I guess you learn from your losses and you learn from your wins,” said bench coach Lloyd McClendon, who filled in for Gardenhire. “Overall, it was a tough trip for us. We lost some tough ballgames. We’ve got to go home and regroup. It’s a short homestand, but we’ve got to continue to play well, continue to grind it out. If we pitch well, we’re going to win.”
First baseman Jeimer Candelario continues to be a bright spot for Detroit (18-21). Candelario had two doubles in three at-bats on Monday, raising his average for September to .375. He hit .356 with four homers last month after going hitless in 17 July at-bats.
“He’s really swinging it well,” McClendon said. “Two years ago, he had a run like this, so it’s really nice to see. Hopefully he’s turning the corner and will be the hitter we think he can be.”
Spencer Turnbull (3-2, 3.89 ERA) will start the series opener for Detroit. The second-year right-hander faced Milwaukee in his latest start on Wednesday and finished with a no-decision. He gave up five runs on three hits and struggled with his control, allowing five walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Turnbull is 0-1 with an 8.38 ERA in two career outings against the Brewers.
The teams split a two-game series in Milwaukee last week, with the Tigers winning 12-1 in the opener and the Brewers capturing the second game 8-5.
Milwaukee (18-21) lost the last two games of a three-game weekend series against Cleveland and had an off day on Monday. The Brewers only scored a combined four runs in those defeats.
“The story of this series was we just missed our opportunities,” manager Craig Counsell said, according to MLB.com. “We put pressure in some innings. but we just didn’t cash in on opportunities.”
The Brewers’ best player, Christian Yelich, remains mired in a slump. Yelich went 2-for-12 in the Cleveland series and struck out six times. He is batting .201 with nine homers and 18 RBIs, though he did score four runs against Detroit last week.
“Teams know he’s still dangerous,” hitting coach Andy Haines said, according to MLB.com. “They pitch him very carefully. He’s the 1 percent, so he gets everybody’s absolute best. He’s aware of that. … He’s going to be ready for his pitch and aware of how careful they are with him.”
Right-hander Adrian Houser (1-3, 4.97 ERA) will make his second consecutive start against Detroit on Tuesday. He allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings and wound up with a no-decision last Wednesday. That was the first time he’d ever faced the Tigers.
–Field Level Media