Tigers end 8-game skid, split doubleheader with 7-5 win in Cleveland

Detroit News

Cleveland — For different reasons, they both badly needed to see balls fly into the seats.

Veteran Jonathan Schoop, mired in a season-long hitting slump, and rookie Kerry Carpenter, who was leading the minor leagues with 30 homers when he got called up and hadn’t sniffed one in the big leagues, hit homers on back-to-back pitches in the top of the sixth inning, breaking a 3-3 tie and helping the Tigers earn a split of the doubleheader against Cleveland, 7-5.

Schoop, who had struck out in his previous four at-bats, struggling to catch-up to fastballs, got a 2-1 changeup from reliever Eli Morgan and pummeled it into the seats in left. It was his ninth homer of the season.

Carpenter, who had doubled and scored in the first inning, jumped the next pitch, a 91-mph fastball, and sent it to the seats in right-center, 392 feet.

The win snapped an eight-game losing streak and salved a tough, gut-punch of a loss in the opener.

Things got a little dicey in the bottom of the seventh. Right-hander Jose Cisnero has been back from the injured list for nearly a month, but he’d only worked eight innings. The rust was evident. He walked two and gave up and RBI single to Steven Kwan, making it a one-run game.

Manager AJ Hinch went quickly to Joe Jimenez who, with two runners on and Jose Ramirez looming on deck, induced a clutch 5-4-3 double-play from Amed Rosario. They don’t give saves in the seventh inning, but that was one.

The Tigers rebuilt the cushion scoring twice in the top of the eighth. Schoop and Carpenter singled. Tucker Barnhart, failing to get the bunt down, instead slapped an RBI single to right.

Victor Reyes ripped a two-out, RBI single to right. It was a three-hit night, reestablishing the two-run lead.

It was a three-hit night for Carpenter, Barnhart and Reyes, and a 15-hit night for the Tigers collectively.

Bryan Garcia, the converted reliever making his third spot start for the Tigers, was cruising along through three innings before that man came up again – Andres the Destroyer.

Andres Gimenez sank the Tigers in Game 1, breaking a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer off Andrew Chafin. He came up in the fourth with a man on shellacked an 0-1 changeup from Garcia, sending it 408 feet into the seats in right.

That put the Guardians up 2-1 and a home run three batters later by catcher Luke Maile on a first-pitch sinker made it 3-1.

That was all the damage Garcia allowed, though. He struck out five with no walks over six innings, earning his first win of the season.

The Tigers answered back against right-hander Xzavion Curry, who was called up from Triple-A as the 27th man and making his big-league debut.

Carpenter, who was 3 for 5 against Curry this year in Double-A, roped a double to the wall in right center and scored the first run of the game on a single by Tucker Barnhart.

Then in the fifth, Barnhart, Riley Greene and Victor Reyes (RBI) singled and Greene subsequently scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by Willi Castro.

Rookie Kody Clemens didn’t figure in the scoring, but his defense at third base was stellar. He ended the troublesome fourth inning taking a hit away from Tyler Freeman with a diving play.

Then in the fifth, he made an incredible catch on a foul popup by Owen Miller. Clemens had to lunge his body over the tarp to get the ball. He tried to brace himself by putting his right hand on the rail but he missed it. He was still somehow able to make the catch as he fell into the netting behind the tarp.

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @cmccosky

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