Elvin Rodríguez, Robbie Grossman leave Detroit Tigers’ game vs. Cleveland early

Detroit Free Press

The hits keep on coming for the Detroit Tigers.

Not at the plate, but on the list of banged-up players on the roster.

Right-hander Elvin Rodríguez departed after just four innings and four strikeouts Sunday against the Cleveland Guardians. The rookie had allowed two hits and no runs when he motioned for manager A.J. Hinch and trainer Doug Teter to come to the mound during his warmups prior to the fifth inning. After a brief conference, Rodríguez slowly walked off the mound with Hinch, and righty Wily Peralta came on in relief. Rodríguez was throwing a gem, with 30 of his 52 pitches going for strikes.

The Tigers announced the injury as lower-body cramping.

“It’s very frustrating,” Rodríguez said through interpreter Carlos Guillen,. “I was doing very well in the first four innings and, you know, coming out of the game in the middle of a very good outing, it’s a little bit uncomfortable.”

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Sunday’s outing was Rodríguez’s first example of cramping mid-game, but not his first overall.

“It has happened before, but not during a game,” he said. “This is the first time.”

Rodríguez’s woes followed those of veteran Robbie Grossman, who left in the third inning.

Grossman, filling in at designated hitter for Miguel Cabrera (who himself left Saturday’s loss in the eighth inning with back issues), lasted just one at-bat before being replaced by Jeimer Candelario with two outs in the bottom of the third. The at-bat was nearly doubly costly, as Candelario lined the third pitch foul into first-base coach Gary Jones.

Jones went down and was checked on by Teter but remained in the game. Candelario then struck out to end the inning.

“He just needed a minute to collect himself,” Hinch said of Jones. “The line drive hurt, then twisting his knee and his ankle, turned out OK.”

After the game, Hinch revealed that Grossman suffered neck spasms on the left side after his first at-bat.

“He locked up pretty good,” Hinch said. “I think it bothered him a little bit pregame, but I didn’t know about that. But then he tried to go and took a swing in the first, then got some treatment, y’know, had a little bit of time before he was gonna come up again and couldn’t go.”

Hinch said Grossman is day-to-day ahead of the Tigers’ five-game series against the Minnesota Twins, which begins Monday.

Grossman entered Sunday hitting .200 with six doubles and no home runs in 166 plate appearances. He popped out to third to open the bottom of the first inning.

Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.  

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