Is Tigers' Javier Báez turning the corner after a rough start?

Báez, Kerry Carpenter and Alex Lange stand out in recent Tigers' homestand.
Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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There is no secret that Javier Báez has endured the most amount of anger among Detroit Tigers fans since he signed as a free agent last season. The subject of countless memes, endless rants, and booing, Báez has heard or seen it all.

But during the recent home stand, Báez only struck out once. He had a pair of doubles in Thursday's game and, on Sunday, had the perfect time for his first extra-base hit of the season, which helped the Tigers rally back and win against Minnesota. That home run was his first since September 15, 2023, on the road against the Angels.

Detroit could use all the offense they could get. Heading into Thursday's game, the team was batting just .204 in the series.

Keeping it close

The Tigers on Wednesday played in their eighth one-run game of the season. They are 5-3 during those games. Their eight games is tied with the Yankees for second, trailing only the A's, who have nine so far this season.

Kerry Carpenter enjoys the confines of Comerica Park

The most consistent at-bats during the eight-game home stand came courtesy of Carpenter, who went 9-for-27 with a pair of triples and home runs. On Wednesday's game, he launched the longest hit home run by a Tigers' player this season, a 426 ft shot to center.

Alex Lange getting swings and misses at the right time

With the bases loaded in the 7th on Thursday, Manager A.J. Hinch turned to Alex Lange, who came up and struck out both Wyatt Langford and Jonah Heim on swinging strikes.

Despite the walk issues, Lange has a knack for generating swings and misses when his command is right. His whiff rate of 35.8% places him in the 93rd percentile in baseball. Hinch has been trusting him in high-leverage situations, seemingly choosing his spots well.

Tigers at Twins pitching matchups

Here are the probable pitching matchups as the Tigers head to Minnesota for the first time this season.

  • Friday, 8:10 p.m.: RHP Jack Flaherty (0-1, 4.91) vs. RHP Joe Ryan (0-1, 2.60).
  • Saturday, 2:10 p.m.: RHP Reese Olson (0-2, 3.86) vs. RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 6.57).
  • Sunday, 2:10 p.m.: RHP Casey Mize (0-0, 4.11) vs. RHP Louie Varland (0-3, 8.36).