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Faedo's homecoming a success, Tigers edge Rays 3-2 on Harold Castro's late homer

Chris McCosky, The Detroit News on

Published in Baseball

TAMPA, Fla. — AJ Hinch nailed it before the game.

He was asked about rookie Alex Faedo’s anxiety level as he prepared to make his third start and his first ever as a big-leaguer in his hometown, against the team he grew up rooting for.

“Honestly, I think the people around him are more nervous than he’s ever been,” Hinch said. “Even for his debut, for his return to Tampa, I’ve not seen one ounce of nervousness. It’s just flat-line, ready to compete, ready to play.”

That’s exactly right. Either the moment wasn’t all that big for him or he simply, calmly rose to it.

In front of a large group of family and friends, Faedo made essentially one mistake in 5.2 strong innings and put the Tigers in position to sneak a win in the first of three games at Tropicana Park.

Which they did, beating the Rays 3-2 on a 400-foot blast into the right-field seats by Harold Castro in the top of the ninth inning. The Rays had just tied the game in the bottom of the eighth.

 

Castro lashed a 94-mph fastball from reliever Andrew Kittredge, giving the Tigers a season-high fourth straight win.

Faedo's mistake was a center-cut, 91-mph four-seam fastball to Brett Phillips leading off the sixth inning. Phillips hit it off the catwalk in right field, his third homer of the year.

That was the only blemish on Faedo’s homecoming performance. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck four. He was spotting his four-seamer, which averaged 93 mph, on the edges of the plate, throwing sliders to right-handed hitters and change-ups to lefties.

The typically disciplined-hitting Rays swung and missed 13 times, eight against Faedo's slider on 17 swings.

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