Carpenter’s HR gives Tigers 3rd straight walk-off win

Detroit Tigers' Kerry Carpenter, left, is hugged by teammates after his game winning home run during the ninth inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, April 18, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) (Carlos Osorio, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers are on a roll after starting the season in a rut.

Riley Greene hit a sixth-inning homer and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched eight scoreless innings, helping the Tigers beat the Cleveland Guardians 1-0 on Tuesday night to sweep a doubleheader.

Kerry Carpenter's solo home run with two outs in the ninth lifted the Tigers to a 4-3 win over the Guardians in the first game.

Detroit has won five straight, including three on walk-off hits, to bounce back from a 2-9 start.

“Feel better as a team, more confident and that creates better hitting, better defense, better pitching,” said Tigers right fielder Matt Vierling, who made a leaping catch over the right-field wall in the second game. “Last week wasn’t the best, but we’re in a good spot now.”

Rodriguez (1-2) allowed four hits, no walks and struck out 10 while matching the longest outing of his career. The left-hander lasted eight innings for the first time since 2017 when he played for the Boston Red Sox.

“He wanted to go nine," Detroit catcher Jake Rogers said. "It was fun to catch. When he’s pitching like that, it’s easy.”

Jason Foley pitched the ninth for his first save, sealing the latest win.

Detroit had a pair of key defensive plays to earn the second win against Cleveland. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop made a diving stop up the middle to take a potential single away from pinch-hitter Steven Kwan in the eighth inning with a runner on second. In the fifth, Vierling turned a potential home run for Josh Naylor into an out.

“In a game where one play can maybe make the difference, their guy hits a ball to left field. Tip your cap," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "And then their guy goes up and takes one away from Naylor and then Schoop makes the play at second. That’s kind of the game.”

Cleveland’s Peyton Battenfield (0-1) walked three in six innings and gave up three hits, including Greene’s opposite-field homer to left field.

“Down a little bit more than I wanted it to be, should have been up and away,” he said.

Alex Lange (1-0) earned the afternoon win after allowing one hit and striking out one in the ninth.

James Karinchak (0-3) took the loss in the first game when Carpenter turned on a full-count pitch and sent it soaring over the right-field wall.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Javier Baez's sacrifice fly in the first inning. Baez’s RBI single and Carpenter’s run-scoring double in the fifth tied it at 3-3 before Carpenter’s third homer of the season gave Detroit the win.

Josh Bell, signed by Cleveland to provide some extra-base pop, hit a game-tying double in the fourth and scored when Oscar Gonzalez hit Boyd's next pitch over the left-field wall to give the Guardians a 3-1 lead.

Boyd allowed three runs, five hits and two walks over five innings. Mason Englert pitched three scoreless innings and Lange kept the score tied in the ninth.

Cleveland right-hander Hunter Gaddis allowed three runs and eight hits and a walk over five innings.

Eli Morgan, Nick Sandlin and Karinchak combined for 3 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for the Guardians until Carpenter hit the walk-off homer off a high fastball.


The first game, which was added after Monday night’s game was postponed because of poor weather conditions, drew a crowd of perhaps 100 people on a blustery afternoon that was 39 degrees with 16 mph winds for the first pitch.

The crowd was slightly larger and it was several degrees warmer for the second game.


Cleveland shortstop Amed Rosario was out of the lineup with a back injury and his replacement, Tyler Freeman, had a banged-up left shoulder evaluated after the game. Detroit's Spencer Torkelson made contact with Freeman's shoulder when he stole second base in the fourth inning. Freeman, who was recalled from Triple-A Columbus, stayed in the game and finished as the only Guardian to have multiple hits in the first game.


Guardians RHP Cal Quantrill (0-1, 5.74) and Tigers RHP Spencer Turnbull (1-2, 9.00) are the scheduled starters for Wednesday.


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