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DETROIT — Detroit Tigers pitchers issued 13 walks — the most in a nine-inning game since 1991 — in a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night at Comerica Park.
The Tigers (42-66) have lost the first two games of the four-game series to the Rays (57-49).
Despite the frequent free passes, the Tigers actually led the game until the eighth inning, when the Rays scored three against reliever Joe Jimenez, who walked the first two batters he faced.
“When you’re rolling the lineup time after time after time and giving them more at-bats, eventually the game won’t let you make that many mistakes,” said Tigers manager AJ Hinch.
Tigers starter Bryan Garcia pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, but walked six batters and had to escape serious james in the first two innings.
“You’re happy to get away with it, but you’re not going to be very successful in the long run if you keep doing that,” said Garcia, who was optioned back to Triple-A Toledo after the game.
Normally reliable Will Vest issued three walks; Jimenez had three; and Jose Cisnero finished with one.
It was only the second time in the Divisional Era (1969-present) that Tigers pitchers have issued 13 walks in a nine-inning game. The other time was June 15, 1991, in Seattle against the Mariners, a 15-2 loss.
This game was considerably closer, even though the Tigers didn’t do a whole lot on offense. Jeimer Candelario had an RBI single in the first. In the second, Akil Baddoo singled and scored on Riley Greene’s two-run homer off Rays starter Corey Kluber.
The Tigers brought the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth after Daz Cameron drew a one-out walk — yes, the Tigers did walk twice on Friday — and then Eric Haase reached on an infield single after a 10- pitch at-bat. But Rays reliever Colin Poche struck out Greene on three pitches to end the game.
The Tigers and Rays meet again on Saturday at 6:10 pm The Tigers will retire Lou Whitaker’s jersey before the game. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and be in their seats at 5:15 pm for the ceremony. A large crowd is expected.
Rookie right-hander Garrett Hill (1-3, 5.88 ERA) will start for the Tigers against Rays lefty Shane McClanahan (10-4, 2.07).
Tigers pitchers walked 13 batters in loss to Rays
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