Tigers' embarrassing late-inning miscues cost Detroit again vs Rangers

The Tigers had been playing pretty good defense up until Wednesday. The last two games have not been indicative of that.
Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers
Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

What exactly was going through the Detroit Tigers' heads in the eighth inning we may never know. But some of the bad defense that helped cost them the game Wednesday against the Texas Rangers seemed to bleed over into Thursday's 9-7 loss as well.

After posting three errors in Wednesday's game, the Tigers put another three errors on the board Thursday for six in two days.

"When you mishandle the ball and give the other side extra outs or extra 90 (feet) you put yourself in a really tough spot," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said after Thursday's loss. "We got out of a couple of mistakes, but we also paid for (a few). The better teams you play the more dangerous and penal the unclean play is. That's not rocket science. That's baseball."

Tigers suffer embarrassing eighth-inning miscues

With Leody Taveras on second base following a double and an out already recorded, Tigers reliever Shelby Miller forced a ground ball to short. Shortstop Javy Baez saw an opportunity to take out the lead runner, but ... it didn't quite work out that way.

With Taveras in a rundown with third baseman Gio Urshela and Baez, he somehow extracted himself from the issue by dodging under Urshela's tag as he fell over him. The result: embarrassment, and also runners on the corners.

Still, at least the game was still tied. A little more difficult to keep it that way, but still tied. Miller got another grounder, this time to diving first Spencer Torkelson. Torkelson assessed the situation and decided to try to do a little bit more than he was capable of.

The result: an 8-7 Rangers lead and Miller again in line to take a late-innings loss through no real fault of his own.

Interestingly enough, the Tigers are actually pretty good in the field otherwise. As Buster Olney noted on Twitter, they've actually been one of the best defensive teams so far.

It's early. There's still plenty of time to clean things up a bit more as the season progresses. But the mistakes in the Rangers series just couldn't have been timed any worse.