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Fulmer's hard-luck outing a familiar tale

Special to MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- Detroit's Michael Fulmer should be fuming.

The Tigers fell to the San Diego Padres, 1-0, to extend their losing streak to a season-high seven games on Friday. But when deciphering what didn't go right on a delightful night in San Diego, don't look at the Tigers' hard-throwing right-hander.

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SAN DIEGO -- Detroit's Michael Fulmer should be fuming.

The Tigers fell to the San Diego Padres, 1-0, to extend their losing streak to a season-high seven games on Friday. But when deciphering what didn't go right on a delightful night in San Diego, don't look at the Tigers' hard-throwing right-hander.

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"He was good, he was real good,'' said Fulmer's catcher, Alex Avila. "He was throwing the crap out of the ball, hitting 99 [mph] at times with movement. It was impressive."

Fulmer was sensational, working seven masterful innings as he allowed the game's only run on two hits. He walked four, but his eight strikeouts were but one shy of his career-high.

"Stuff-wise, it was the best stuff I had had all year,'' Fulmer said. "It's unfortunate I couldn't get a couple of calls when I needed them and it turned into the game's only run.''

Fulmer's lone blemish came in the second, after he walked Cory Spangenberg to open the inning. He would come around when Austin Hedges took advantage of a rare Fulmer miscue with two-out, two-strike double.

After jumping ahead 1-2, Fulmer aimed a slider to be off the plate and in the dirt. But the ball was elevated, Hedges punished it into the right-center gap, and with the way the Tigers are hitting, it was game, set and match.

"I knew the pitcher was up next.,'' Fulmer said. "That's why I threw a slider and I meant to bounce it and I just left it up. I wasn't trying to throw it for a strike. You got to have a better pitch than that. Unfortunately it was one of the few bad ones and it cost me.''

The Tigers weren't thrilled with the umpiring on Friday, which led to manager Brad Ausmus getting ejected in the ninth when arguing a check-swing call by first-base umpire by Jordan Baker. Fulmer was ticked with plate ump Bill Welke on his walk of Spangenberg, when a two-seamer didn't get the same result two previous ones did.

"I would get it for strike one, strike two, but he wouldn't give me strike three,'' Fulmer said. "I tried asking him if the ball is in and he gives me one of these [holding his fingers close together].

"I said, 'You got great eyes then.' It's part of the game. You can't make excuses about the umpire calling strikes. You just try to repeat pitches that are being called for strikes and he just wasn't very consistent tonight.''

The same can't be said for Fulmer. Last season's AL Rookie of the Year notched his 12th quality start, second only to the Red Sox's Chris Sale (13). Too bad in the six games the Tigers have been shut out this year, Fulmer has started three of them.

"His stuff is really good, as you can tell,'' Hedges said. "Everything's hard and sharp. He hung one slider."

Fulmer's performance was a reminder of what the Padres passed on at the 2015 Trade Deadline. The Mets were eager to move Fulmer, their first-round pick in 2011, to San Diego for then-Padre Justin Upton. Padres general manager A.J. Preller declined the offer and instead Fulmer came to the Tigers for Yoenis Cespedes.

Fulmer didn't have any luck getting to San Diego two years ago. His fortunes didn't change once he did make it here, having little to show for Friday's strong outing.

"Fulmer was outstanding,'' Ausmus said. "We just didn't muster any runs. We hit some balls hard, we just couldn't get any runs."

Jay Paris is a contributor to MLB.com based in San Diego. He covered the Tigers on Friday.

Detroit Tigers, Michael Fulmer