For the third time this season, Ryan carved up the Tigers with a blend of fastballs, sliders, changeups and curveballs. His confidence in his fastball- and slider-heavy mix was on full display Friday night, as the 26-year-old rookie right-hander snapped the Tigers' six-game winning streak.
Ryan finished his season with a 3.55 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 147 innings.
The Tigers lost, 7-0, in the first of three games against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Twins shortstop Carlos Correa delivered the big blow in the seventh inning with a two-run home run off reliever Will Vest for a five-run advantage. Position player Kody Clemens pitched the ninth inning, his seventh pitching appearance of the year.
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In the sixth inning, the Tigers (63-93) generated momentum, thanks to a leadoff seven-pitch walk from Riley Greene, and forced Ryan to throw 27 pitches, but they would up with nothing to show for their efforts. Spencer Torkelson stranded runners on the corners when he struck out looking on a down-and-away fastball in a full count.
Ryan fired six scoreless innings on five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts, throwing 65 of 91 pitches for strikes. He threw 55 fastballs, or 60% of his pitches, and collected 10 of his 16 swings and misses (and 10 of his 13 called strikes) with his heater.
His fastball averaged about 92 mph.
Facing Ryan, the Tigers only hit one ball — Harold Castro's fourth-inning single — with an exit velocity of 100 mph or greater and averaged an 83 mph exit velocity on 15 balls in play. The Tigers' six hits off him were all singles.
Torkelson finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is batting .205 with one home run, seven walks and 18 strikeouts in 22 games since returning from Triple-A Toledo. He's hitless in five straight games.
Video killed the Tigers starter
The Tigers fell behind in the third inning.
Mark Contreras, the nine-hole hitter, doubled to center field on left-hander Tyler Alexander's first-pitch sinker for a 1-0 lead, which occurred immediately after Jermaine Palacios singled to left field with two strikes.
A leadoff walk from Gio Urshela sparked a two-run fourth inning.
Two batters later, Ryan Jeffers tripled on a ground ball to left field. The ball rolled into foul territory, skipped off the side wall and came to rest on the warning track in left field. Initially, the umpires determined the play was a result of fan interference. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli challenged, and the call on the field was overturned, allowing Urshela to score for a 2-0 lead as Jeffers received a triple instead of a double. With two outs, Jake Cave chipped in an RBI single.
Alexander escaped his start without further damage and completed five innings, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks with six strikeouts. Before Friday, he hadn't walked more than three batters in an outing in his 93-game career.
For Alexander's 90 pitches (57 strikes), he used 24 four-seam fastballs (27%), 22 changeups (24%), 20 cutters (22%), 19 sinkers (21%) and five sliders (6%). He got 14 swings and misses: two four-seamers, five changeups, two cutters, three sinkers and two sliders.
Diaz debuts with Tigers
After Alexander's departure, right-handed reliever Miguel Diaz took over for his first MLB appearance since the 2021 season, when he was a member of the San Diego Padres. He delivered a scoreless sixth inning — earning a swinging strikeout with his changeup — and returned for the seventh.
Contreras drew a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. The stolen base and wild pitch occurred with Jose Miranda batting; he then grounded out sharply to third base, keeping the run from scoring.
Then, Vest entered for a matchup with Correa.
Correa launched a first-pitch 95 mph fastball over the left-field wall (and the Tigers' bullpen) for a 390-foot two-run home run. He put the Twins ahead, 5-0, and Vest continued to crumble, allowing two singles and an RBI double throughout the remainder of the inning.
The Twins increased their lead to 7-0 against left-hander Andrew Chafin in the eighth inning.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Tigers' win streak dusted by Joe Ryan's speed in 7-0 loss to Twins