DETROIT – Akil Baddoo only got one at-bat Tuesday, but he sure made it count.
The Detroit Tigers’ rookie didn’t get into the game until the bottom of the eighth inning, when the pinch ran for Jonathan Schoop. But with the Tigers and Twins tied in the bottom of the 10th inning, Baddoo came up to bat with two outs and the winning run on third base.
Was there ever any doubt? After getting ahead in the count 2-1, Baddoo smashed a line drive down the right field line to give the Tigers the win over his old team.
You know a guy is good when his name is in the headline of a post-game story for three straight days.
The win broke a two-game losing streak for the Tigers and improved their record to 3-2.
In his post-game interview, Baddoo deferred a lot of the credit to his teammates, and there were quite a few key performances.
Gregory Soto pitched a scoreless ninth inning before coming back out for the 10th. He gave up a leadoff single to Nelson Cruz (GO AWAY, NELSON) that allowed the extra inning runner who starts at second base to advance to third.
But a strikeout, a ground ball to third and another strikeout ended the threat without a run. That meant the Tigers just needed to score their extra inning runner to win the game.
Jeimer Candelario also had a great game. He had a single, a double and a walk, but the perhaps biggest at-bat was his eight-pitch battle in the 10th inning, when he moved the extra runner to third base after falling behind in the count 0-2.
Niko Goodrum also had an excellent game out of the leadoff spot, collecting three hits. Robbie Grossman picked up his first two hits as a member of the Tigers: an RBI double and an RBI single.
Casey Mize breezed through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth inning. He finished with four strikeouts, two walks, five hits and one earned run allowed in four innings.