The Tigers scored their first run in the sixth inning, when second baseman Jonathan Schoop tagged a 2-0 fastball from Phillies right-handed reliever Joe Gatto for a solo home run to left-center field.
It was Schoop’s first homer of spring training. His swing produced a 105.9 mph exit velocity, and the ball traveled 387 feet. The homer trimmed the Tigers’ deficit to 3-1 in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, right-hander Jacob Barnes allowed a leadoff single and responded with back-to-back swinging strikeouts with his cutter. The next batter, Nick Maton, popped a cutter into center field for what should have been an easy out, but Jack Lopez, an infielder by trade, lost the ball in the sky.
The ball dropped to the grass — ruled a double — and the Phillies scored to go ahead 4-1. Barnes then walked the next two batters and was replaced by Brendan White, a 23-year-old righty from minor-league camp. Johan Camargo doubled off White’s third pitch to score two runs, making it 7-1 Phillies.
Tigers catcher Dustin Garneau hit a one-out solo homer to left in the ninth.
Left-hander Tyler Alexander started for the Tigers, though he’s expected to shift into the bullpen in a swingman role once right-hander Michael Pineda, who signed a one-year contract last week, receives his work visa.
A return to bullpen didn’t shake Alexander’s confidence as a starter in Tuesday’s game, as he posted two perfect innings. He threw 14 of 24 pitches for strikes, using his entire five-pitch arsenal: seven cutters, six four-seam fastballs, four sinkers, four changeups and three sliders.
Alexander struck out Bryce Harper looking with an 89.8 mph sinker to end the first inning. He also retired Bryson Stott (line out to center field), Alec Bohm (groundout to shortstop), Darick Hall (flyout to right field), Donny Sands (groundout to shortstop) and Matt Vierling (flyout to right).
For Bohm’s grounder, Tigers shortstop Javier Baez made a wild throw to first base. Spencer Torkelson, the No. 1 overall pick in 2020, leaped off the bag, secured the baseball and tagged out Bohm to record the second out in the first inning.
Alexander’s fastball averaged 90 mph.
At the plate
The Tigers had a chance to strike first in the second inning, loading the bases with two outs for Riley Greene.
Against Phillies reliever Jeurys Familia, Torkelson singled to right field (105.1 mph exit velocity), Daz Cameron singled in the infield and Derek Hill reached safely on a fielding error. But Greene struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch, a 95 mph fastball, to strand the bases loaded. He swung so hard his helmet popped off his head.
A sixth-inning homer from Schoop put the Tigers on the board.
The Tigers finished with one run on five hits and one walk.
Baez singled in the first inning and ended 1-for-3 at the plate. He produced two hard-hit balls: 102.2 mph exit velocity on his single off Phillies starter Bailey Falter and 105.7 mph exit velocity off reliever Brad Hand.
Greene went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts; Torkelson went 1-for-3 with one strikeout. Both players exited the game in the sixth inning.
On the mound
Making his first spring training appearance, right-hander Drew Hutchison came out of the bullpen and replaced Alexander for the third inning. He allowed two runs in the third and another run in the fourth.
With Hutchison on the mound, the Phillies jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Right-hander Jason Foley faced the minimum three batters in the fifth inning. He walked Stott on eight pitches to start the frame, but the Phillies’ prospect was cut down on the bases because of a double play, from Torkelson to Baez to Torkelson. Foley threw 12 pitches (six strikes); his fastball sat around 95 mph and reached 97 mph.
The Tigers turned to Barnes (sixth inning), White (sixth), right-hander Will Vest (seventh) and left-hander Joey Wentz (eighth).
Vest, who pitched for the Seattle Mariners last season, filled up the strike zone and logged two strikeouts in a 10-pitch inning. Wentz, a 24-year-old prospect, worked around a leadoff walk for a clean eighth frame. He used 11 sinkers and four four-seam fastballs, four changeups and one curveball.
Wentz averaged 95 mph with his fastball. He had Tommy John surgery in March 2020.
1. Alexander, 2. Schoop, 3. Vest.
Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh Pirates in Lakeland.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers fall victim to big inning, lose to Phillies, 7-2
Source: Yahoo Sports