Casey Mize back for unbeaten Tigers to face winless Mets

Persistence finally paid off in the 10th inning Monday night for the Detroit Tigers, who are one of just two remaining unbeaten teams in the American League.

A reward has yet to arrive for the New York Mets, who are in the midst of their worst start in 19 years.

The Tigers will look to extend their season-opening winning streak to five, and the Mets (0-4) will aim to get into the win column Tuesday night when Detroit visits New York in the middle game of a three-game interleague series.

Right-hander Casey Mize will start for the Tigers, his first major league appearance in almost two years. Right-hander Adrian Houser (8-5, 4.12 ERA for Milwaukee in 2023) will make his Mets debut.

The Tigers scored five 10th-inning runs to earn a 5-0 win in the series opener Monday night.

Mets left-hander Sean Manaea retired the first 12 batters he faced and didn’t allow a hit until Andy Ibanez singled with two outs in the sixth. Carson Kelly was thrown out at home trying to score on the hit.

The Tigers didn’t get into scoring position again until Spencer Torkelson was the automatic runner to start the 10th. Torkelson scored on Colt Keith’s one-out grounder to second that Joey Wendle bobbled as he tried turning a double play.

Gio Urshela legged out an infield single and Javier Baez lofted a sacrifice fly before Kelly hit a three-run homer for the Tigers, who are 4-0 start to a season for the first time since 2015. Detroit and the New York Yankees (5-0) are the only unbeaten teams in the AL.

“Just keep fighting — we’re never out of it,” Kelly said. “We play nine innings for a reason. And if we don’t score for the first six or seven or eight or nine, then we still have a chance.”

Another quiet offensive game left the Mets with their worst start since the 2005 team began 0-5. New York managed just five hits on Monday and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

The Mets are hitting .188, the fifth-lowest batting average through four games in team history and the lowest since the 2014 team hit .184 during a 1-3 start.

“I just feel like we just haven’t found our footing,” said Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor, who is 1-for-16 this season. “Everybody shows up early, (takes) batting practice, studies well, prepares. The coaching staff is preparing us. We know what we’ve got to do. We just haven’t executed.”

Mize last appeared in a big-league game on April 14, 2022, one day before he was placed on the injured list with a right elbow sprain. He underwent Tommy John surgery two months later and also had back surgery later that summer.

He won a rotation spot by going 3-1 with a 2.21 ERA in six spring training games (five starts).

“I felt like I had a good fastball all spring, but my off-speed (pitches) had been a little inconsistent,” he said last week, according to The Detroit News.

Mize has never opposed the Mets.

Houser spent the first seven seasons of his big-league career with the Brewers before the Mets acquired him and outfielder Tyrone Taylor on Dec. 20, 2023, for minor league right-hander Coleman Crow.

Houser is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Tigers.

–Field Level Media