Doug Fister’s first start back went swimmingly.
The 28-year-old right-hander — who missed around two weeks with a strained side muscle — delivered six scoreless innings Saturday in the Tigers’ 4-1 defeat of the Rockies at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
Fister allowed only three hits and walked just one batter while racking up six strikeouts. He now has a 2.68 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in seven starts this year, with 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 40 1/3 innings.
The Tigers are 31-34, currently four games back of the White Sox in the American League Central standings. A dramatic turnaround certainly seems possible.
Your Saturday box scores:
Rockies 1, Tigers 4
Yankees 5, Nationals 3 (14 innings)
Phillies 5, Blue Jays 6 (10 innings)
Brewers 6, Twins 2
Royals 7, Cardinals 10
Pirates 9, Indians 2
Padres 4, Athletics 6
Astros 3, Rangers 8
Orioles 5, Braves 0
Red Sox 4, Cubs 3
Reds 4, Mets 1
Marlins 4, Rays 3 (15 innings)
Diamondbacks 0, Angels 2
Giants 4, Mariners 7
White Sox 5, Dodgers 4
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.