CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Guardians relievers helped the club to five wins on their last road trip, but after picking up a victory early in Monday’s doubleheader against Detroit, the Cleveland bullpen has more. finally coughed up one against the Tigers.
Back-to-back home runs by Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop and Kerry Carpenter into Guards sixth reliever Eli Morgan broke a 3-3 tie and helped the Tigers hand the Guardians a 7-5 loss at Progressive Field.
The loss dropped the Guardians to 9-8 on the season against Detroit and kept Cleveland two games ahead of Minnesota and Chicago in the American League Central race. The Twins and White Sox won on Monday. Cleveland’s loss also marred the major league debut of rookie right-hander Xzavion Curry, who allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings with three strikeouts and one walk.
Cleveland has now split six of its league-high 10 doubleheaders and is 9-11 in those 20 games.
Tigers right-hander Bryan Garcia (1-0, 3.29) pitched six innings and allowed three runs on five hits, striking out five Guardians batters without giving up a walk to earn his first win in four starts this season .
Cleveland scored three runs in the fourth to take a two-run lead over home runs by Andres Gimenez and Luke Maile. Giménez’s two-point outburst was his second of the day after netting a three-point shot in Monday’s twin bill opener. He became the first Guardians hitter to homer in both games of a double since José Ramírez did so in August 2019 against Texas.
Owen Miller opened the inning with a single and scored past Giménez. Miller entered the game after first baseman Josh Naylor came out with a sore right ankle. Naylor appeared to pinch his ankle while fielding a Victor Reyes grounder in the third.
Maile’s home run, a drive high on the left field line off Garcia with two outs, was his second of the season and extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Manager Terry Francona said Gimenez’s ability to stay consistent at the plate throughout the day was impressive, while Garcia told reporters he won’t lose sleep after Gimenez’s home run because it’s It was a well-executed pitch.
“The first home run in Giménez was not a pitch that I feel very bad about,” Garcia said. “It was a downward change that he went for. He’s a great hitter. »
But Curry couldn’t keep the lead in the fifth. He returned three singles, including an RBI hit to Reyes. Detroit tied the score on an RBI ground from Willi Castro before Javier Baez launched into a force to end the inning. Francona said he thought Curry competed well on his first outing.
“They went down and got some breaking balls that were really good breaking balls,” Francona said. “We talk all the time about putting them on the line, sometimes you get rewarded for it. I thought (Detroit) did it because there was a lot of traffic. But we just told him, man, there’s a lot to like. We knew today is not what it will look like in a year, in two years, maybe in 10, 12 years, but it competed very well.
Morgan (4-3, 4.25) suffered his first loss in his last 20 outings, but in his last 10 appearances before Monday he had allowed 10 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. His tough stretch continued in the sixth when he served Detroit’s second consecutive homers of the season. Schoop, who entered the game with 14 hits against Cleveland, first hit a Guardians pitcher on a 2-1 low fastball that over-grabbed home plate. Carpenter blasted Morgan’s next pitch to right field for his first big league home run.
Four of Morgan’s last 17 allowed hits have gone for homers.
“We want to put him on a roll and he just struggles to keep the ball in the stadium,” Francona said.
Cleveland cut the Tigers’ lead with a run in the seventh on Steven Kwan’s RBI single. Kwan hit a sinker from Detroit reliever Henry Cisnero at center to score Will Benson from second after Cisnero took out Benson and Tyler Freeman with one out. But Amed Rosario followed by crashing in a double play for the second straight slash to short the rally.
Maile added an RBI single in the ninth that scored Benson and cut Detroit’s lead to two, but Freeman bounced back in Cleveland’s third double play of the night against Tigers closer Gregory Soto, who caught his 21st stop.
Next: The series continues Tuesday with a first pitch at 7:10 p.m. at Progressive Field. The Guardians will send right-hander Zach Plesac (2-10, 4.32) to the mound to face Tigers right-hander Garrett Hill (2-3, 4.66). The game will air on Bally Sports Great Lakes, WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM and the Guardians Radio Network.
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