The Detroit Tigers lost Wednesday’s series finale to the Pittsburgh Pirates, extending the team’s losing streak to five games, but the biggest loss of the night didn’t involve the box score.
Christin Stewart, the Detroit Tigers’ hottest hitter on the young season, exited the game with a right quad spasm after a flyout in the eighth inning. As heavy rain descended upon Comerica Park, Stewart slipped in left field after making a catch in the top of the inning, but Ron Gardenhire stated after the game that the injury occurred when Stewart ran out the fly ball.
Stewart, who was replaced in left by Dustin Peterson, will be examined before Thursday’s contest against the Chicago White Sox, as he’s currently considered to be day-to-day.
The promising young outfielder has been one of the team’s more productive bats this season, leading the Tigers with three home runs and 13 RBIs. Putting the importance of Stewart’s presence in the lineup in perspective, he’s the only Tiger with a double-digit RBI total and his three home runs contribute to the team’s total of only seven.
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For a Tigers team that’s still struggling to score runs at a consistent clip, the loss of Stewart for an extended amount of time could prove to be detrimental as summer inches closer.
The injury to Stewart was the second major blow to the Tigers roster on Wednesday, as it was announced earlier in the day that left-handed starting pitcher Matt Moore will miss the remainder of 2019 after undergoing surgery on his right knee.
Detroit is also still without starting shortstop Jordy Mercer, who suffered a right quad spasm against the Minnesota Twins and was placed on the 10-day injury list last Saturday. Mercer is expected to return in the near future though, as Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports the 32-year-old won’t need much more than the required 10 days on the injured list.
Next up for the Tigers will be the aforementioned Chicago White Sox, who enter Thursday’s game on the heels of a 4-3 loss in extra innings to the Kansas City Royals. Wednesday’s game featured its fair share of fireworks after Royals starter Brad Keller plunked White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson in response to his emphatic fourth-inning bat flip.
The incident would spark a bench-clearing altercation between the teams and three ejections.
Tyson Ross will make his fourth start of the season in game one of the four-game weekend series, he will be opposed by Ivan Nova. The series will mark the first matchup between these two division rivals of the 2019 season.