June 16, 2024

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3 Detroit Tigers combine with the uninjured Toronto Blue Jays

3 Detroit Tigers combine with the uninjured Toronto Blue Jays

Matt Manning struggled to escape in the first half.

The Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays, after bad weather delayed their first pitch by more than an hour, kicked off Saturday’s game in pouring rain at Comerica Park. There was a downpour in the top of the first inning, but once the rain had passed, Manning found his three-pitch drive and attacked relentlessly.

The 25-year-old took a no-hitter in the eighth inning and struck out seven times an incredible personal feat. Manager AJ Hinch pulled Manning from the game after 91 pitches.

Relievers Jason Foley and Alex Lang finished with two total no-hitters, the first no-hitter in franchise history, and the 29th-most in MLB history.

It’s the first time the Tigers have not hit since Spencer Turnbull threw one against the Seattle Mariners on May 18, 2021. Eric Haas, the Tigers’ catcher that game, worked behind the plate for the Tigers on Saturday as well.

The Tigers, sparked by the return of Riley Green from the injured list, scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. The early offense was enough for a 2-0 win over the Blue Jays at Comerica Park, all thanks to Manning and the staff.

However, it seemed almost impossible to escape the first half.

Manning hit Bo Bichette with the fastball and walked Brandon Belt to put back-to-back batters on base with no outs. He scored two outs, and with runners on the corners, he needed a towel from the dugout to wipe his hands as the rain still lashed the field.

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Manning got off the hook by hitting Cavan Biggio with a quickie for a third batter, hitting 19 runs in the first inning. White walked Merrifield to start the 12-pitch second inning, then retired 16 batters he faced.

There were several defensive plays—including a run by shortstop Javier Baez in left field—to keep the no-hitter intact.

In the seventh inning, Manning fielded Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman to strike out with seven no-hitting completions. Biggio, the next batter, walked six pitches.

No hitter has safely reached the Blue Jays since Merrifield walked the second inning.

After the walk, Hinch bounced from the dugout and was booed when Manning, who had allowed four opponents to reach base, knocked him out of his fifth start of the season after 91 pitches. (Manning returned June 27 from an extended stay on the injured list.)

Manning, who has thrown 57 of 91 strikeouts, used 34 four-seam fastballs (37%), 30 sliders (33%) and 27 curveballs (30%). He produced five blows and 23 called blows at a rate of 31% called a strike plus whiff.

Right-handed reliever Jason Foley replaced Manning and needed only five pitches to complete the seventh inning. Foley returned for the eighth inning and fielded the Blue Jays in order.

In the ninth inning, right reliever Alex Lang slammed the door three times in a row. The efforts of Manning, Foley, and Lange resulted in no harm.

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Riley’s back

The Tigers (39-49) scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning against Blue Jays right-back Kevin Gusman.

A single by Greene on his return from the injured list (stress fracture in left fibula) sparked the second half. After Greene’s single, Spencer Torkelson hit an RBI double and Kerry Carpenter hit an RBI triple.

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Green finished 2-for-2 with two walks.

Torkelson, batting one spot behind, finished 1-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Gusman allowed two runs on five strikeouts and walked two with seven strikeouts across six innings pitched, throwing 62 of 96 pitches for strikeouts. The 32-year-old has a 3.03 ERA in 19 starts this season.

Contact Evan Petzold at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @employee.