Unlikely heroes lead Detroit Tigers to doubleheader sweep of Boston Red Sox

Ronny Rodriguez, Brandon Dixon provide unexpected offense

Ronny Rodriguez and Brandon Dixon were heroes for the Tigers' offense on April 23, 2019, against the Boston Red Sox. (Getty Images)

DETROIT - Tuesday was the most impressive showing of the season for the Detroit Tigers as they swept a day-night doubleheader on the road against the defending World Series champions.

In front of the two biggest crowds they've seen since Opening Day in Detroit, the Tigers took down the likes of Chris Sale, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts with two of the unlikeliest heroes on the roster.

Just 10 days ago, the Tigers were in the midst of a five-game losing streak, and Ronny Rodriguez and Brandon Dixon weren't even on the MLB roster.

Rodriguez got the call April 14 when Jordy Mercer went on the injured list and Mikie Mahtook was sent down to Triple-A Toledo.

Dixon replaced the injured Christin Stewart on Thursday.

Neither player was hitting at all in Triple-A. Rodriguez had seven hits and a .492 OPS. Dixon had a .413 OPS, zero walks and 16 strikeouts.

Fans were understandably unexcited for the call-ups. They came through in big ways against the defending champs on Tuesday, though.

Rodriguez took over the first game, going 3-4 with two doubles and a towering home run over the Green Monster in Fenway Park. He knocked in two runs and scored two more in the team's 7-4 victory.

Ronny Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers congratulates teammate Gordon Beckham on a two-run home run against the Minnesota Twins during a game on April 14, 2019, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Rodriguez also added a third double in the second game, giving him four extra-base hits on the day.

Dixon didn't start the first game of the doubleheader, but he took advantage of his opportunity in the nightcap.

The biggest moment of the night came in the fourth inning with the game tied 0-0. Dixon came up with the bases loaded and two outs and ripped a 1-1 slider down the left field line for a three-run double.

Brandon Dixon of the Detroit Tigers singles to drive in Jeimer Candelario against the Chicago White Sox during a game at Comerica Park on April 21, 2019, in Detroit. (Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

He added another double in the sixth. In the eighth, he smacked a ball off the Green Monster and was thrown out at second, inches away from his third straight double.

Dixon's three RBI were the difference in the 4-2 victory.

In the two games combined, Rodriguez and Dixon went 7-12 with five doubles, a home run, five RBI and three runs scored.

As a team, the Tigers racked up 12 hits in both games, continuing the offensive outburst from the Chicago White Sox series. There aren't many stars on the roster, so the Tigers will need to continue getting contributions from unexpected sources to win games.

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