Daily Smoko: Castellanos Powers Tigers in Win

Nick Castellanos led the offensive charge as the Tigers jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the first three innings against Minnesota, featuring a seven run third inning. Elsewhere on the farm, a pair of lefties looked good in Toledo.

Detroit Tigers
12-8, 1st in AL Central

Team R H E
Detroit 10 15 1
Minnesota 6 11 1

The Tigers offense hadn't put up many crooked numbers in a single inning yet this year, but they made sure to change that on Friday night, scoring seven runs in the third inning and putting the game comfortably out of reach.

Nick Castellanos got the scoring started the inning before with a two run homer to right field, showing off his opposite field power - Castellanos finished the game going 2-for-5 with three driven in and two scored himself.

The third inning meanwhile was a party for everyone, featuring a pair of doubles, two walks and five singles as they got their seven runs in. Torii Hunter had a pair of hits in the inning alone as the Tigers batted around and then some.

Rick Porcello picked up the win - he cruised through the first five innings, but then ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth and was pulled before recording an out. The bullpen allowed both of the inherited runners to score, saddling Porcello with four earned runs in his five innings of work.

From there, five relievers got in on the action to wrap the game up. The Twins put up four runs in that sixth inning, and one more off Ian Krol in the seventh that went unearned after Ian Kinsler booted a routine grounder that would have ended the inning. Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan closed things out without allowing any further damage, and winning with a comfortable four run cushion.

News and Notes

  • Castellanos has driven in 13 runs in this young season while posting a .791 OPS so far. It's early, and pitchers will surely adjust, but Tigers fans are getting a sneak peek at why the Tigers were so adamant that they wouldn't trade the young slugger last year at the deadline. At just 22 years of age, he's already more than holding his own against big league pitching.

  • The bullpen allowed four runs to cross the plate, but two got attributed to Porcello, and one went unearned. That means one earned run over four innings helped lower the group's ERA to 5.40. That number is good for 28th in MLB. But progress, I guess?

  • While on the bullpen, the Tigers made a number of head-scratching moves this off-season, and one of them was letting Jose Veras walk in free agency after not picking up his very affordable option, and then signing Joba Chamberlain. The early returns here might be quickly skewing in the Tigers favor - Joba has settled down and has actually been the Tigers most valuable reliever so far with a 0.4 fWAR. Veras on the other hand has a 15.88 ERA in six games for the Cubs.

Around the Org Scores

AAA Toledo Mud Hens
9-13, 4th in West Division

Team R H E
Indianapolis 6 9 3
Toledo 7 14 0

  • Talk about left-handed relievers, you say? Casey Crosby tossed two scoreless innings with a walk and a strikeout, while Blaine Hardy got the win, pitching a flawless inning of relief. Five players, including Hernan Perez, had multi-hit games for the Hens.

AA Erie Seawolves
8-10, 5th in Western Division

Team R H E
Binghamton NA NA NA

  • Postponed: Rain

A+ Lakeland Flying Tigers
12-9, t-2nd in North Division

Team R H E
Tampa 7 9 1
Lakeland 4 9 0

  • Josh Turley struck out seven over five innings as the new member of the starting rotation, picking up a no-decision. Connor Harrell drove in three runs in the loss, including a two run homer.

A West Michigan Whitecaps
10-11, 4th in North Division

Team R H E
Fort Wayne 4 10 1
West Michigan 0 4 0

  • Buck Farmer turned in a quality start, giving up three runs in six innings with seven strikeouts. Javier Betancourt had a pair of singles on an otherwise quiet night for the ‘Caps offense.

About the Daily Smoko

Smoko is an Australian and New Zealand term for a short cigarette break during work. It can also describe a short coffee or tea break. TigsTown does not condone or support smoking, but it is a nice way to honor former manager Jim Leyland, and have you guys read recaps while you should probably be working.

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