Cleveland avoids sweep with 9-3 win over Detroit
By: Mike Stiles - Monday, April 5, 2021

Akil Baddoo hits a homer in his first major league at bat and on the first pitch against Cleveland (photo courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/DFP)

(DETROIT) – It t was a good day for a couple of Tigers rookies. Less than for the Tigers as a whole. But all things considered, even after the Cleveland Indians scored four times off reliever Daniel Norris in the top of the seventh inning and salvaged the third game of the season-opening series with an 9-3 romp Sunday at Comerica Park, it wasn't a bad opening series. There was plenty of momentum early on Sunday. Nomar Mazara hit a two-run home run in the first inning. Rookie Tarik Skubal, in his 2021 debut, gave the Tigers a strong 5⅓ innings. And then there was the bottom of the third. Just when you think the bubble might burst on the dream sequence that Akil Baddoo is living right now, he pulls another rabbit out of his hat. The Rule 5 rookie, who until Sunday hadn’t seen a pitch above High-A, who hadn’t played a competitive game in almost two years, who absolutely stole the show and a roster spot in spring training, added this to his growing resume: The first pitch he saw in his first major league at-bat, an 89 mph fastball from Indians starter Aaron Civale, he bashed over the left-field fence and into the Tigers bullpen. ...... {LISTEN}. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Baddoo's blast was the last hit Civale and two relievers allowed. Civale dispatched 13 of the last 14 hitters he faced and erased the other (a walk to Robbie Grossman) with a double play. Still, the Tigers went to the seventh leading 3-2. Skubal departed with one out in the sixth after a four-pitch walk to Cesar Hernandez and a double by Jose Ramirez. He'd given up just four hits and one run to that point. Norris mitigated the damage, allowing just one run to score on a ground out before striking out Franmil Reyes. The script flipped this quickly against Norris in the seventh: Single by Amed Rosario, double by Josh Naylor, two-run single by Yu Chang and with one out, a two-run home run by Jordan Luplow. Reyes hit a two-run home run off Buck Farmer in the eighth and Austin Hedges nicked Tyler Alexander in the ninth.

(audio courtesy of FSR 99.7 FM/1230 AM and The Detroit Tigers)