Tue, 03 Oct 2023

Matt Manning searching for strike zone as Tigers host Royals

Field Level Media
28 Sep 2022, 16:05 GMT+10

Right-hander Matt Manning will try to exert better control on Wednesday when the host Detroit Tigers face the Kansas City Royals in the middle game of a three-game series.

Manning tied his career high by issuing five walks at Baltimore last Wednesday. He walked only 14 batters in his 11 other starts this season.

"Overall, my fastball command wasn't there," Manning said. "I was falling behind -- a lot of 2-1 counts -- and I was trying to get back in. I walked a few early and I didn't want to walk any more. Just kind of put too much pressure on myself, and one thing led to another."

Manning gave up five runs, though two were unearned, in 5 1/3 innings while throwing 102 pitches in the 8-1 loss.

"Everything for Matt is predicated off his fastball," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. "He has to get his fastball in the zone. He didn't for most of the game and his spin wasn't consistent. But I don't think the score tells the whole story of his night. He executed some pitches; it just wasn't his night."

Manning (2-3, 3.43 ERA) didn't walk anyone when he threw seven shutout innings against the Chicago White Sox in his previous start, on Sept. 16. He faced the Royals twice last month -- most recently on Sept. 10, when he gave up three runs (two earned) in 6 1/3 innings while notching his second victory.

He'll be opposed by Daniel Lynch (4-11, 5.06), who has struggled in three outings against Detroit this season. Lynch is 0-1 with an 8.53 ERA in those games while allowing 12 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings, including four home runs. Willi Castro has been a thorn in Lynch's side with six hits in 11 at-bats against the left-hander, including three extra base hits.

The last time Lynch faced the Tigers, he gave up homers to Eric Haase and Jeimer Candelario while getting pounded for six runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"He gets hit hard when he gets too much of the plate and when he gets into those favorable counts," Royals manager Mike Matheny said.

In his most recent outing last Wednesday, Lynch gave up just two runs (one earned) against Minnesota but was taken out after four innings and 78 pitches.

"I think more than anything else is just him understanding his body right now. ... He's just fighting through some things that he's never felt before, being in his first full major league season and the demands that come with it," Matheny said. "It's going to come down to staying focused and controlling counts to where you don't have to hit big parts of the plate."

Detroit (61-92) rallied from a three-run deficit to take the series opener 4-3 in 10 innings on Tuesday. Harold Castro led the offense with three hits and three RBIs, including a two-out, bases-loaded single for the walk-off victory.

The Tigers have won four straight and six of their last seven games. Kansas City (63-91) lost for just the second time in seven games.

"We're getting rewarded for doing some things right late in the game," Hinch said.

--Field Level Media

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