Tigers' Wenceel Pérez ultimately made up for his costly mistake against the Twins

For good and for ball, Wenceel Pérez is all over the Tigers highlight reel from Friday
Apr 19, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Wenceel Perez (46) points to
Apr 19, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Wenceel Perez (46) points to / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

For both good and for bad reasons, Tigers rookie Wenceel Pérez was at the center of attention Friday night in a 5-4 win against the Twins at Target Field.

It was a night of firsts in his major league career: first three-hit game, first triple, first RBI, first game-winning hit. It should have been a night that was memorable for totally positive reasons, but his first error helped cost starting pitcher Jack Flaherty and the Tigers the lead in the sixth inning.

On the play, he and center fielder Parker Meadows converged on a ball hit to right-center that should have been turned into an out. Meadows appeared to be calling him off, but in the excitement of the moment and wearing cold weather gear that covered his ears, Pérez didn't hear Meadows until it was too late to do anything about. And then he whiffed on what was still a catchable ball.

"I just felt that I overran it a little bit," Pérez told Bally Sports Detroit's Johnny Kane after the game. "I think he called it late. I was going so quick, by the time I heard him I couldn't stop, so I just overran it a little bit."

Wenceel Perez played a big role in Tigers' win vs. Twins

Despite that, it shouldn't take away from the night he had at the plate. Pérez went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored, two RBI, and a timely ninth inning hit to make up for his earlier mistake.

The triple he hit to right field hit high on the wall and just barely stayed in the park, leading him to make a joke about hitting the weights harder during the postgame.

With two outs in the ninth, the Twins opted to walk Mark Canha to put two men on and bring Perez to the plate. He fouled off the first fastball he saw and deposited the second in right-center to give his team the lead back.

"I thought that was my opportunity," Perez told Kane. " I just tried to be patient and had a good pitch to hit."

The hit put him up to a .313 average and .853 OPS in seven games played since getting the big league call while Andy Ibáñez spent time on the injury list with an injured left hamstring. While he's certainly looked a bit shaky at times, at least he's helped the team win some ballgames too.

Tigers fans got to see all sides of that in one night.