Castro, Candelario circuit, the Tigers beat the Guardians 2-1

DETROIT (AP) — Harold Castro homered for the third time in three games, Jeimer Candelario also connected and the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Guardians 2-1 on Sunday.

Detroit won despite only four hits. The Tigers have beaten Cleveland for just the seventh time in their last 28 games at Comerica Park.

“We definitely feel like we’re taking it on the chin,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said, “but we won a series against a division team.”

Tigers starter Elvin Rodriguez pitched four scoreless innings, allowing two hits in his second major league start. He struck out four and walked none before walking out with lower body cramps.

“Another day, another injury,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “But we won a series and that’s what we wanted to do.”

The 24-year-old right-hander came limping in his fifth-round warm-up and had to leave.

Acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade with Justin Upton in 2017, he was recalled from Triple-A Toledo last week to replace injured starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

“I hated that he had to come out. Man, he pitched well,” Hinch said. “The decision to have him come out was easy, but it was unfortunate because he was in total control.”

Alex Lange (2-1) had four outs for the win. Gregory Soto, Detroit’s sixth pitcher, worked around a two-out single and closed for his eighth save.

“We have to create our chances – we haven’t had many chances,” said Guardians manager Terry Francona. “Those are things that we will continue to preach to these guys that we have to do.”

Detroit Tigers’ Harold Castro signals as he circles the bases after a solo home run in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Sunday, May 29, 2022, in Detroit.

Luke Maile drove Cleveland’s only run in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Andres Gimenez.

Castro homered in the fourth against Triston McKenzie (3-4).

Candelario, who pinched for designated hitter Robbie Grossman in the third, hit his team-leading fifth home run in the sixth. Grossman is listed day to day with neck spasms.

“It was another opportunity for Candy. We kind of ambushed him,” Hinch said. “We were giving him a mental day off and he ended up with a big swing.”

McKenzie, who pitched a perfect pitch for 7 2/3 innings in his previous start against the Tigers on Aug. 15, 2021, needed just 90 pitches to work 7 2/3 innings this time. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up four hits, struck out eight and walked one.

“I think he’s figuring out what it takes to be a good pro, and taking it to the mound the day he pitches,” Francona said.

SCARY MOMENT

Candelario hit a hard ball in the third inning that hit Tigers first base coach Gary Jones in his lower body. Jones fell awkwardly and remained on the ground for several minutes before getting back to his feet. He stayed in the game.

“It happened quickly and it didn’t look pretty, so I was happy to see him get up, for obvious reasons,” Francona said. “I guess he’s not going to run a marathon tonight, but it was nice to see him get up.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Goaltenders: RHP Aaron Civale (left glute crunch) is expected to start a bullpen session and, barring a setback, will make a shortened start with Triple-A Columbus. “The idea is to get him into a rehab game soon to see if he can get back into the rotation in the near future,” general manager Mike Chernoff said. … OF Franmil Reyes underwent an MRI earlier this week, which revealed a slight elongation. Chernoff said Reyes, who was placed on 10 days on May 25, will meet with the team’s coaches on Monday to discuss next steps.

Tigres: DH Miguel Cabrera did not play after leaving Saturday’s game with tightness in his lower back. “He’s still in pain, but he’s better than when he left,” Hinch said. “Hopefully another day of treatment will make it better.” … LHP Tyler Alexander (sprained elbow) is expected to pitch three innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Toledo on Monday, followed by four innings later in the week. Hinch said the team will determine Alexander’s role when he is allowed to return. “Our original plan was to make him a loose reliever when he came back,” Hinch said. “And now we’re a few injuries deep in the rotation.”

NEXT

Guardians: Host Kansas City on Monday. RHP Zach Plesac (1-4, 5.40 ERA) is listed to pitch for Cleveland.

Tigers: RHP Beau Brieske (0-4, 5.04) is set to make his fifth major league start on Monday at Minnesota. Brieske is winless in four career starts and allowed two earned runs in four innings in his last start on May 24 at Minnesota. Dylan Bundy (3-2, 4.54) leaves for the Twins. He went 5 ⅔ innings on a run against the Tigers on May 25.

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