Detroit Tigers outscored by Rays’ No. 9 hitter in Opening Day road loss

Tigers lineup silenced by Shane McClanahan to start season

Shane McClanahan #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during a game against the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day at Tropicana Field on March 30, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann, 2023 Getty Images)

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers were outscored by the No. 9 hitter in the Tampa Bay Rays’ lineup during a shutout loss to open the season.

Detroit got a solid start from Eduardo Rodriguez, who went 5.1 innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out five batters. He allowed a solo home run to Jose Siri in the bottom of the third inning and left trailing just 1-0 in the sixth, but Jason Foley allowed both inherited runners to score, saddling Rodriguez with three earned runs.

Tampa Bay added a fourth run in the eighth, when Wander Franco blasted a solo homer off of Mason Englert, who was making his MLB debut.

Coming off a year in which they fielded the worst offense in MLB, the Tigers were shut down again to start 2023. Shane McClanahan breezed through six scoreless inning before giving way to the bullpen, which got the final nine outs to seal the game.

Detroit’s only real threat came in the seventh inning, when Ryan Kreidler hit a line drive down the right field line with two runners on base. Manuel Margot made a diving catch near the line to save a pair of runs and keep the Tigers from having the tying run in scoring position for leadoff hitter Matt Vierling.

Javier Baez and Austin Meadows were the only bright spots offensively. Baez finished the game with a single and a walk, while Meadows ripped an opposite-field double and two singles in his return to Tampa Bay.

Former Tigers infielder Isaac Paredes, for whom Meadows was traded in 2022, hit the single that knocked Rodriguez out of the game. He ultimately came around to score the third run.

This is the first time in A.J. Hinch’s 10 seasons as an MLB manager that his team has lost on Opening Day. The Tigers will play two more games in Tampa Bay before a three-game series against the defending champs in Houston. The first game at Comerica Park is scheduled for next Thursday (April 6).

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.