One rough inning leaves Mize frustrated

May 4th, 2024

NEW YORK -- Right-hander had a tough time executing pitches with two outs, and it hurt the Tigers in a 5-3 loss to the Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Take the first inning, for example. Mize was given a 1-0 lead on a leadoff home run by Riley Greene. But after getting two quick outs to start the bottom of the frame, Mize allowed consecutive singles to Aaron Judge, Alex Verdugo and Giancarlo Stanton, who drove in Judge to tie the score at 1.

The Yankees then went ahead by scoring four runs in the third. With runners on first and second and no outs, Judge doubled to left field, scoring Anthony Volpe and giving New York the lead.

Mize was on the verge of wriggling out of it by inducing a groundout from Verdugo and striking out Stanton. But Anthony Rizzo belted a 1-1 pitch from Mize for a three-run homer over the right-field wall.

“It’s frustrating that I put myself in a bad spot,” Mize said. “I was almost within an out [of getting out of the inning]. [Rizzo] hits a home run. It’s frustrating. It didn’t give us a chance to win. … I walked away from this one pretty disappointed.”

After the home run, Mize retired seven of the next eight hitters before allowing back-to-back singles to open the sixth and leaving the game with one out. At least Mize gave the Tigers a chance to stay in the game.

“I did some good things, but the big inning killed us,” Mize said. “So I’ll think about the good things and continue to work on those. But for now, I’m pretty disappointed about the third inning.”

The offense continues to be inconsistent for Detroit. After Greene’s homer, Yankees right-hander Clarke Schmidt retired nine of the next 10 hitters he faced. But Detroit made it a close game in the fourth. After leading off with a single, Wenceel Pérez came home on a one-out triple by Matt Vierling. Colt Keith sent Vierling home with a sacrifice fly to make it a two-run game. That was it for the day for the Tigers, who had only two at-bats with a runner in scoring position.

The Tigers have to be concerned about first baseman Spencer Torkelson, who hit a team-leading 31 home runs last year. He is homerless this season in 122 at-bats and is 6-for-44 with 13 strikeouts in his past 11 games. Saturday was just as frustrating for the right-handed power hitter.

After Keith’s sac fly, Torkelson struck out. He then hit into a double play after Keith led off the ninth with a single.

“If anybody goes through it this way and is not frustrated, they don’t have a pulse,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “It’s been a tough time for [Torkelson]. We know it. He has to fight his way out of it and he will. When you go through it, it feels like it’s endless. The game kind of leads you to big spots and it will be tough on you with ground ball double plays, just circumstances that come up. It’s safe to say he is frustrated for sure.”