The Detroit Tigers’ season-opening winning streak is over, but starter Mike Maroth is hoping that their bats are still hot enough to get him another victory in the finale of a three-game set against Minnesota.
Detroit, which started 4-0 for the first time since 1985, opened last season 0-9 and eventually lost an AL-record 119 games. The Tigers dropped their first game of the season on Saturday, 10-5 to the Twins, becoming the last team in baseball to lose a game.
Maroth was emblematic of the Tigers’ woes last year, posting a 9-21 record and becoming the first major-league pitcher to lose 20 games since Oakland’s Brian Kingman in 1980.
However, he won his last two starts of the 2003 season, and his first of this season on Tuesday, giving up three earned runs and five hits in five innings of a 7-3 win in Toronto—the same place where he lost No. 20 last season.
“It’s something that I’m not going to be able to forget about, but to be able to come back here and get a win gives me confidence,” Maroth said. “It really helps me put it in the past, too.”
The Tigers, whose 591 runs last season ranked last in the American League, also seemed to have bounced back from the miserable season, scoring 35 runs over their first five games.
“We gave up 10 runs, so we obviously didn’t pitch well,” said manager Alan Trammell about Saturday’s loss.
Trammell watched the game from team president Dave Dombrowski’s box while serving a one-game suspension after starter Nate Cornejo threw at a batter in spring training.
The Twins pounded out a stadium-record six home runs Saturday, snapping a two-game losing streak.
“The ball was flying pretty good today,” said catcher Henry Blanco, who hit two homers. “I hit a couple flyballs, and they went out.”
“The ball was really jumping out there today,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They’ve made some adjustments to this park, and the ball carries better than it used to, but days like this are still pretty unusual.
“Those weren’t cheapies we were hitting, either.”