Rule 5 pick Akil Baddoo homers again; Detroit Tigers take 5-3 win over Phillies

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Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press
·4 min read
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CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Detroit Tigers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-3, on Sunday at BayCare Ballpark, improving to 9-10 in Grapefruit League play.

What happened

Right-hander Matt Manning — ranked as the Tigers' No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline — started and completed two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and two walks, with two strikeouts. He got into trouble in the first inning but worked quickly in the second. A starter for his entire career, Michael Fulmer pitched out of the bullpen. Manager AJ Hinch wanted to give him a different look. He evenly mixed four of his five pitches en route to three scoreless innings.

Rule 5 draft pick Akil Baddoo hit a home run to tie the game in the third inning. Then, Niko Goodrum launched his two-run blast for a 4-2 lead in the fourth. Baddoo's home run was his fourth this spring — all occurring in his last six games. He owns a .357 batting average and 1.357 on-base plus slugging percentage across 15 contests. Each team had two errors.

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Starting off

The first three batters Manning faced reached base to load the bases with no outs: Andrew McCutchen (single), Odubel Herrera (single) and Bryce Harper (walk). He should've picked up a double play, but first baseman Renato Nunez, amid a position battle, let the low throw from Willi Castro bounce past his glove. Because of Nunez's error, two runs scored. Still, Manning bounced back with consecutive strikeouts to escape. He only needed 12 pitches in the second inning, thanks to a successful double play. Manning used 37 pitches (21 strikes) and generated four swings-and-misses. He got three of them with his four-seam fastball, which also produced five called strikes. The right-hander's fastball only averaged 92.7 mph and topped out at 95.4 mph.

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At the plate

Goodrum's fourth-inning blast to the highway beyond right field snapped an 0-for-23 streak with 12 strikeouts in spring training. He went 4-for-4 to begin Grapefruit League games but hadn't picked up a hit since March 3. His homer run came on a 92.4 mph fastball from Phillies starter Chase Anderson. The ball had a 107.7 mph exit velocity and traveled 432 feet. One inning early, Baddoo drove his home run to right field on a 93.5 mph fastball from Anderson.

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Jake Rogers made contact in all three of his at-bats, picking up a single to left field and avoiding strikeouts. Isaac Paredes, Nomar Mazara, Harold Castro and Christin Stewart added hits to put the Tigers at seven total for the game. Stewart's single drove in a run in the eighth inning. They drew two walks and struck out 11 times.

On the mound

After left-hander Derek Holland pitched a scoreless the third inning, despite allowing two hits, Fulmer trotted out of the bullpen for the fourth. His fastball velocity didn't increase, as he averaged 93.2 mph, but he mixed in all of his pitches: nine sinkers, nine changeups, nine sliders, eight four-seam fastballs and four curveballs. He generated nine swings-and-misses, getting at least one whiff with each of his five weapons. Fulmer got three strikeouts, recording them against Herrera (changeup, foul tip), Alec Bohm (slider, swinging) and Andrew Knapp (curveball, swinging).

Right-hander Gerson Moreno gave up one run in the seventh inning. Sent to the minors as part of the first cuts, Kyle Funkhouser returned for more experience and got strikes with 13 of his 16 pitches in a scoreless eighth. Prospect Zack Hess walked two batters in the ninth in search of the save, so Hinch pulled him after 16 pitches. Andrew Moore got the final two outs.

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Three stars

1. Fulmer, 2. Baddoo, 3. Goodrum.

Next up

Monday (6:37 p.m.) vs. Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Akil Baddoo homers again; Detroit Tigers take 5-3 win over Phillies