Tigers, riding momentum, head home to face Padres

Field Level Media
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Jul 16, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Reese Olson (45) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park.
Jul 16, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Reese Olson (45) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at T-Mobile Park.
Image: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers, who have heated up since the All-Star break, will try to carry that momentum into a three-game weekend series against visiting San Diego

Detroit went 5-2 on its just-concluded, two-city road trip. After taking two of three from the Seattle Mariners, the Tigers went 3-1 at Kansas City. They wrapped up the trip with a 3-0 victory over the Royals on Thursday afternoon


The Tigers are trying to remain within striking distance of the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central

"Good trip. Coming out of the break, you never quite know how the guys are going to get back up and running," Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. "We came out aggressively in Seattle and here (in K.C.), some close games, some winnable games -- all of them.


"Our guys are understanding that every day is important coming out of the break because you start seeing what's possible -- how to win series, how to win weeks. We did both."

Reese Olson (1-3, 3.96 ERA) will start for Detroit on Friday. The rookie right-hander will be making his 10th appearance and seventh start of the season.

Olson pitched well in his latest outing but didn't get any run support in a 2-0 loss at Seattle on Sunday. He lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs and six hits while recording five strikeouts. Seattle scored a run in the first and another in the fourth on a solo homer.

"They came out very, very aggressive, swinging first pitch virtually every at-bat," Hinch said. "They ambushed him in the first inning and got a couple of hits. ... He almost escaped that trouble right out of the chute, but it looked like (he) made some adjustments, started mixing up his pitches a little bit better."


Olson, who has never faced the Padres, has displayed excellent control since being promoted from the minors. He has allowed eight walks while striking out 40 in 38 2/3 innings

Olson will be opposed by right-hander Seth Lugo (3-4, 3.78 ERA). After being a reliever for the majority of his first seven major league seasons with the New York Mets, Lugo has appeared exclusively as a starter for the Padres this year. He is set to make his 14th start of the season


He has also been stingy with base on balls, allowing just 13 in 69 innings compared with 64 strikeouts. He got roughed up on Sunday, surrendering five runs and seven hits, including two homers, in 5 1/3 innings at Philadelphia.

"One thing they're good at is not missing mistakes, and I made a couple of mistakes and paid the price for it," Lugo said of the Phillies.


The weekend series with conclude the Padres' 10-game road swing since the break. They're 3-4, having gone 1-3 against Philadelphia before taking two of three against Toronto

The loss to the Blue Jays came on Thursday afternoon, as they were blanked 4-0.

"Would've been a big win for us today," San Diego manager Bob Melvin said of a missed chance at a series sweep. "We had some opportunities. We had some situational at-bats that could have impacted the game with a runner on third and less than two out. ... Just couldn't muster anything. Offensively, we have to take advantage of those opportunities."


--Field Level Media