Haase's 5 RBIs lift Tigers over Mets in doubleheader opener
DETROIT - Eric Haase homered and drove in five runs and the Detroit Tigers rallied for a 6-5 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
"This is huge — we've set ourselves up for a lot of great chances lately, but we haven't been able to get that big hit," he said. "We've been playing better baseball lately and it is nice to get rewarded for it."
Javier Baez also homered for the Tigers, who were hosting the Mets for the first time in seven years. The opening game of the series was rained out on Tuesday and rescheduled as a day-night doubleheader.
DETROIT, MI - MAY 3: Eric Haase #13 of the Detroit Tigers watches his two-RBI single that gave the Tigers a 6-5 lead against the New York Mets during the eighth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on May 3, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan
"Those guys helped us win the game — that's the important thing," Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. "But it isn't just the homers — (Haase) won the game for us with a single."
The Tigers trailed 5-4 in the eighth, but Matt Vierling singled with one out and Adam Ottavino (0-2) hit Baez. Riley Greene grounded to first for the second out, but Haase hit a two-run single to right-center field.
"I don't have any excuses," said Ottavino, who hadn't pitched in a week. "I just didn't execute in a big moment."
Tyler Alexander (1-0) got the win by retiring the last batter in the eighth. Alex Lange pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
With a strong wind blowing out to left, the hitters had the advantage in the early innings. The Tigers took a 3-0 lead on Haase's first homer of the season in the first inning, but the Mets came back in the second with solo home runs from Tommy Pham and Mark Canha.
Baez made it 4-2 in the third with a long homer over the first section of seats above the Tigers bullpen in left — his first of the season — but the Mets took the lead in the fifth. Brett Baty singled, took second on center fielder Riley Greene's error, and then scored when Tomas Nido singled and left fielder Andy Ibanez threw wildly to the plate.
Starting pitcher Joey Wentz retired the next two hitters, but Francisco Lindor made it 5-4 with a long homer to left-center field.
"We did a really nice job of coming back and giving ourselves a chance to win," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "We just didn't finish it off."
Mets starter Joey Lucchesi only threw 46 pitches while allowing four runs in four innings, and could start Sunday on short rest.
"We're trying to give ourselves as many options as possible for Sunday and he's now an option," Showalter said.
The Mets brought up RHP Jose Butto to serve as the 27th man for the doubleheader, and they activated RHP Max Scherzer from the suspended list to pitch the second game. Scherzer is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA against the Tigers since leaving in 2015, striking out 34 batters in 17 innings without allowing a walk.
The Tigers called up RHP Brendan White to be their 27th man.
The Tigers are scheduled to see two old friends in the final two games of the series. Scherzer (2-1, 3.72) will return from suspension to face Michael Lorenzen (0-1, 7.07) in the second game of the doubleheader, with Justin Verlander scheduled to face Detroit on Thursday.