DETROIT — Jonathan Schoop continued his June tear with a three-run home run, while Jake Rogers doubled and tripled in a three-RBI performance, powering the Tigers to an 8-2 win over the Cardinals on Tuesday in the opener of their two-game series at Comerica Park.
After batting under .200 for the first six weeks of the season, Schoop has hit his way into potential consideration for an All-Star reserve spot. He entered Tuesday with a .797 slugging percentage for the month, which ranked third in the Majors behind the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and the A’s Matt Olson. Tuesday’s 2-for-5 performance improved Schoop’s average to .383 since May 26, with 11 home runs and 22 RBIs. His latest homer punctuated a six-run fourth inning in which the Tigers batted around with four hits, two walks and an error against Cardinals starter Johan Oviedo.
Rogers, who grew up modeling his catching game after Cardinals counterpart Yadier Molina, left his hero searching for ways to get him out. After Willi Castro and Harold Castro drew back-to-back walks to load the bases in the fourth, Rogers hit a hanging slider on an 0-2 pitch into the left-field corner for a two-run double.
Oviedo paused Detroit’s big inning with a called third strike on Robbie Grossman, but he paid for another elevated slider, this one on a 2-0 pitch to Schoop, who sent it 418 feet to the left-field power alley.
Tigers starter Tarik Skubal struggled after the long inning, giving up two runs on four hits in the fifth, but Kyle Funkhouser led a procession of relievers who combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Detroit’s bullpen entered Tuesday with an AL-worst 5.23 ERA, but has tossed 9 1/3 scoreless innings over the Tigers’ last two games, both victories.