Matt Manning, Tigers try to win second straight vs. Cards

MLB Baseball

Matt Manning, the Detroit Tigers’ top pitching prospect, made his major league debut in Anaheim last week. He’ll make his home debut on Wednesday in the finale of a two-game series against St. Louis.

Manning gave up two runs and four singles in five innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. It might have been even better if not for some sloppy play by his new teammates.

“We didn’t play clean behind him,” manager AJ Hinch said.

In the Angels’ two-run second, a mental lapse by center fielder Daz Cameron allowed Kean Wong to take an extra base. Later in the inning, catcher Eric Haase mishandled a relay throw.

Manning held Los Angeles scoreless the next three innings and struck out two of the last three batters he faced.

“Once I got hit a little bit, I knew I didn’t want it to end there,” he said. “I wanted to keep going. The way our staff’s been going, I wanted to get five innings for them and give the guys some rest.”

He relied heavily on his fastball in the 77-pitch stint, throwing it 70 percent of the time. The 6-foot-6, 23-year-old right-hander was rushed to the majors due to injuries. Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull are on the 10-day IL. They’re not expected to return until after the All-Star break.

Manning’s ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Toledo was 8.07 ERA and he allowed 11 home runs in 32 1/3 innings. He kept the Angels in the park, even Shohei Ohtani, who homered four times in the last three games of the series.

John Gant (4-5, 3.50 ERA), who will oppose Manning, will be seeking his first victory this month. He’s already made four June starts, collecting two losses and two no-decisions.

In his last outing, he gave up three runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings to Atlanta on Thursday, but the Cardinals were shut out.

“Really effective, good base, threw quality pitches, and I thought he threw the ball very well,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Just weren’t able to get him any runs.”

Walks have been Gant’s downfall. He’s issued a major league high 44 in 61 2/3 innings, which is also why his WHIP (1.61) is near the bottom among all starting pitchers.

He’s 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three appearances – one start — against the Tigers.

Detroit first baseman/designated hitter Miguel Cabrera will likely miss the game. He was removed early in Tuesday’s 8-2 victory with right calf tightness.

Jonathan Schoop hit his 14th homer, a three-run shot. He has nine homers this month.

“He’s unreal hot right now,” said Jake Rogers, who had two extra-base hits and drove in three runs.

The Tigers also scored a run on a safety squeeze.

“Lot of good things today out of our offense,” Hinch said. “We played a little bit of big ball, a little bit of small ball.”

Outfielder Lars Nootbaar made his major league debut for the Cardinals on Tuesday. He didn’t have a hit but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

He batted .329 with five homers in 22 games at Triple-A Memphis prior to the call-up.

“He’s performed well in Memphis. There’s no denying that,” Shildt said. “We’ll evaluate as we go.”

–Field Level Media

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