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The Detroit Tigers̵

7; home opener was canceled on March 30 due to the coronavirus, so we recreated photos from previous years in Comerica Park. Their home opening postponed to July 27 against KC

Detroit Free Press

Detroit The right-handed tiger, Michael Fulmer, left the mound earlier than he would have liked.

Manager Ron Gardershill didn’t want to pull it off, but after allowing 47 pitches and three home runs, he didn’t have much choice.

Expected to reach a maximum of three assists, Fulmer made just 2⅔ assists on his first outing on September 15, 2018, allowing four runs on five hits and one walk with a 14-6 loss on Monday at Comerica Park. He finished with two penalties, both coming from his slider.

“Just a little rusty,” Fulmer said Monday. “Obviously I’m not going to apologize. I feel ready. I told everyone I was ready and I had to do a better job next time. But it’s hard to get angry about that because it was good to be there.”

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Gardenhire plans to keep Fulmer as the “opener” throughout the season, which means he’s unlikely to go deep into the games until next year.

“We’ll probably stay with this program,” Garden said. “Let’s hope he went through those three passes. He just messed up a bit at the end, but made some really good rags.

“If he’s a little lucky or he might need a break, we’ll let someone else in there and give him some rest. But it’s all just down the road.”

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His first mistake came on an 88-mile-per-hour slider of 27-year-old Michael Franco, who started a linear drive on the left. After clearing the fence, Fulmer moved away from his slider – using quick balls (and one shift) to pick up Alex Gordon and Franche Cordero.

“Some good places where he performed,” said hunter Austin Romine. “For the most part, a bit of a mixed performance on some of his pitches.”

But this field failed Fulmer failed him in the third inin. He gave up a single by Brett Phillips, a two-stroke homer by Whit Maryfield and a double shot at Salvador Perez – all on fast balls.

“Especially in this third inning, I just kind of lost control of everything,” Fulmer said. “I feel like throwing a few nice sliders, a few good quick balls. Just leaving everything up instead of down.”

His slider paid a little, was missing on two pitches to Ryan O’Hearn, and he was walking. Gardershill made the call to Kyle Funkhozer’s right-hand bullying bullet with a 5-1 lead, narrowed to 5-4.

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While Fulmer’s return was not the “Cinderella story” he had hoped for, he was pleased with his ability to return from knee surgery and Tommy John surgery after missing the entire 2019 season.

But his consistency and command are not fully restored.

“It just fell apart,” Fulmer said. “Just a transfer, too hard. I have to do a better job with this. I calm down and don’t try to get too gloomy, I rush to the plate. Command was off with fastball, especially this third inning, I couldn’t help but throw aside. hand. “

Nevertheless, it was a better outing than his last, in which he gave up two home runs to the Cleveland Indians without recording an out in mid-September 2018; Fulmer will not complain from the beginning of Monday.

Like any checkpoint in his rehabilitation, this is another step in the right direction.

“I’m happy to be there again,” he said. “I hope to help this team have a better chance of winning next time out.”

Evan Petzold is an intern in sports reporting in the free press in Detroit. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.