Jose Ramirez’s homer spoils Spencer Turnbull’s day, snaps Tigers’ five-game win streak

Detroit News

Detroit — Spencer Turnbull’s last start, in which he pitched effectively in Toronto and earned his first win since May 29, 2021, got lost in all the drama of the Javier Báez benching.

He followed up with another strong start on Wednesday, pitching scoreless ball into the sixth inning. But this one was marred, too — by a three-run home run by Jose Ramirez in the sixth inning.

The Guardians salvaged the finale of the series and ended the Tigers’ five-game winning streak with a 3-2 win at Comerica Park.

BOX SCORE: Guardians 3, Tigers 2

The Ramirez at-bat in the sixth was a reversal of fortunes for both he and Turnbull.

To that point, Turnbull had allowed just one hit, a ground-ball single. He was starting to leak oil a little bit in the fifth as his pitch count edged over 60. With two outs, he walked Gabriel Arias and hit Mike Zunino.

He escaped that inning, but walked Steven Kwan to start the sixth, gave up a two-strike single to Andres Gimenez and fell behind Ramirez 2-0.

Ramirez, who came into the game with a .311/.389/.591 career slash-line and a .980 OPS against the Tigers, had been eerily quiet in this series. Before he came to bat in the sixth, he had just one hit and had struck out six of his seven previous plate appearances. On the last one, home plate umpire Ted Tichenor nailed him with a pitch-timer violation on a 1-2 count.

Ramirez was due. And he did not miss Turnbull’s 2-0, 92-mph, fastball. He clobbered it into the right-field seats. The ball left his bat with an exit velocity of 105 mph and it ended the Guardians’ 19-inning scoreless streak.

The Tigers were struggling to gain any traction against Cleveland right-hander Cal Quantrill, who was effectively mixing four pitches (sinker, curveball, changeup and cutter) and getting a lot of weak contact. A single by Kerry Carpenter and a double by Spencer Torkelson were the only Tigers’ hits through five innings.

The Tigers put runners on the corners with two outs in the sixth — double by Matt Vierling and an infield single by Báez — but Quantrill made a gritty and painful defensive play to extricate himself from the mess.

Carpenter hit a liner (91 mph exit velocity) off Quantrill’s leg. Quantrill was able to scramble to the ball on his knees and make the throw to first. He was helped off the field, his day over.

Torkelson got the Tigers on the scoreboard in the seventh, lambasting a 2-0 fastball (95 mph) from right-handed reliever Trevor Stephan. He sent the ball 417 feet, carrying the home bullpen in left. It left his bat with an exit velocity of 110 mph.

The Tigers pulled within a run in the eighth, again with the long ball. Manager AJ Hinch sent up left-handed hitting Zach McKinstry to bat for righty Vierling against right-hander James Karinchak. Karinchak gave up the walk-off homer to lefty Carpenter in Game 1 Tuesday, getting beat with a high fastball.

He tried to beat McKinstry with breaking balls. Didn’t happen. McKinstry launched the third straight curveball he saw over the wall in right field, his first homer of the season.

The Tigers put the first two runners on in the bottom of the ninth against All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase but couldn’t push the tying run across.

cmccosky@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @cmccosky

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