Spencer Torkelson and Kerry Carpenter homered to back a strong start from left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez on Sunday as the Detroit Tigers beat the host Cleveland Guardians 4-1 to clinch their four-game series.
After Guardians lefty Logan Allen opened the game by walking Matt Vierling on five pitches, Torkelson got a fastball down the middle and homered the opposite way to right field for a 2-0 lead. It was his 22nd bomb of the season.
With the Tigers nursing a 2-1 lead, they added two more in the seventh, one on Carpenter’s 18th homer of the season and second in two games. Akil Baddoo singled home a run later in the inning.
In 6 2/3 innings, Rodriguez (9-6) allowed just one run on four hits and a walk, and he struck out six. He lowered his ERA to 3.03. He left after giving up an infield single and with his pitch count at a season-high 105.
After the rough start, Allen (6-6) settled in, retiring the final 11 batters he faced. In six innings, he surrendered two runs on four hits and two walks, and he struck out five. In his four starts in August, Allen is 2-2 despite having a 1.96 ERA over 23 innings.
The Guardians got a break in getting their run off Rodriguez in the fourth, after he was perfect through three innings.
Steven Kwan led off the fourth with a deep fly ball that right fielder Carpenter appeared to lose in the sun as he was feeling for the wall. It went for a double, and Kwan later scored on Ramon Laureano’s soft single to center with two outs.
Tyler Holton pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for Detroit, and closer Alex Lange pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to notch his 18th save.
The Tigers took the series three games to one and have won four of their last five games. They also pulled within 1 1/2 games of the Guardians for second place in the AL Central. Cleveland has lost four of five and began the day five games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins.
In likely his final plate appearance in Cleveland, two-time MVP and 12-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera singled in the eighth inning and left for a pinch runner. The Tigers‘ designated hitter went 1-for-4 and is retiring after the season.
—Field Level Media
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