By Jordan Gillenwater
(Photo courtesy of Detroit Tigers @tigers twitter)
The Detroit Tigers withstand the Cleveland Indians’ late rally to win 3-2 on opening day. As the COVID-19 pandemic still lures, America’s pastime came back to warm the hearts of many, even though a wintry forecast played villain on the field.
Eight thousand fans came out to support the Tigers at Comerica Park, and their presence could be heard throughout the game.
The first inning started with a bang, as Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera hit an opposite-field two-run home run to have them up 2-0. The home run marked Cabrera’s 350th homer as a Tiger and 488th overall in his 19 seasons.
In the second inning, the Tigers scored another run off an RBI double from centerfielder Jacoby Jones to give them an early 3-0 lead, as that proved that was all the scoring they needed for today.
Matthew Boyd got the opening day nod as starting pitcher, as he dominated. The left-hander only gave up three hits and held the Indians scoreless in five and two-thirds innings of work.
2020 CY Young award winner Shane Bieber for the Indians pitched a sensational game after giving up the three runs in the first two innings. Bieber settled down and pitched six innings and recorded 12 strikeouts, but it was not enough for the Indians’ struggling offense.
By the ninth inning, things became more nerve-wracking for Tiger fans. Closing pitcher Gregory Soto gave up a two-run homer to catcher Roberto Perez to give the Indians a glimmer of hope, as they were down 3-2 with only one out. Later in the inning, Soto put another runner on base as he gave up a walk. However, Soto stayed calm, cooled, and collected as he got the last out on a popup to record his first save of the 2021 season.
The Tigers are now 1-0 and look for an encore against the Indians on Saturday, at 1:10 p.m. in Detroit.