Guardians beat Tigers 3-2 after Detroit fires GM Al Avila

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DETROIT — Steven Kwan hit a leadoff triple and scored to help Cleveland Guardians get off to a solid start and beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Wednesday night.

A few hours before the first pitch, the Tigers fired general manager Al Avila to end his seven-year tenure without a postseason appearance.

Cleveland started the day tied with Minnesota for first place in the AL Central. The Guardians lead the last-place Tigers by 16 games in the division.

Aaron Civale started for Cleveland after being on the 15-day injured list with wrist inflammation and retired the first nine batters. Civale gave up two runs and three hits while striking out four over four innings.

James Karinchak and five other relievers – including Bryan Shaw (5-2) – combined for five innings of scoreless relief. Emmanuel Clase gave up one hit in the ninth, earning his 26th save.

Karinchak struck out Javier Baez with two on in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, Karinchak struck out Eric Haase and Kerry Carpenter – in his major league debut – to trigger an demonstrative, one-man celebration as the reliever walked toward the dugout.

Kwan scored in the first inning on Jose Ramirez’s single. Will Benson had an RBI single – his first major league hit – and Myles Straw‘s groundout gave the Guardians a 3-0 lead in the second.

Drew Hutchison (1-6) allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings.

The offensively challenged Tigers scored their only two runs in the fifth on Harold Castro‘s single and Haase’s double.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Beau Brieske (right forearm soreness) was scheduled to start the series finale on Thursday and after a setback, he was transferred him to the 60-day injured list. “We decided to be very conservative and be smart with Beau,” manager AJ Hinch said. … OF Austin Meadows started an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday.

FILLING IN

Peyton Battenfield will be promoted from Triple-A Columbus as Karinchak’s replacement in Toronto and the right-hander may make his major league debut against the Blue Jays.

Karinchak will not join his teammates after Thursday’s game for the trip across the border because he has not complied with the Canadian government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The reliever has not given up a run over his last 13 2/3 innings and 12 appearances.

MAKING MOVES

Guardians: RHP Jake Jewell was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Civale on the roster.

Tigers: The Tigers optioned OF Daz Cameron to Triple-A Toledo.

UP NEXT

Cleveland RHP Garrett Hill (2-3, 5.12) and Detroit RHP Zach Plesac (2-10, 4.49) scheduled to start the series finale Thursday afternoon.

Yankees’ Judge heads on road still at 61 homers; 4 games left

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NEW YORK – Aaron Judge won’t break the American League home run record at Yankee Stadium, remaining at 61 as New York headed on the road for its final four regular-season games after a 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Judge struck out three times and walked once, disappointing a crowd of 44,332 that watched the Yankees regular-season home finale in rain for much of a chilly, blustery afternoon. New York finishes the regular season with four games at Texas, starting Monday night.

Judge took a called third strike from rookie Kyle Bradish leading off the first inning, then couldn’t check his swing and stranded the bases loaded when he struck out on a curveball in the second. He walked in the fifth and fanned against Bryan Baker in the seventh, dropping to 1 for 7 with six strikeouts, five walks and a hit batter since hitting No. 61 at Toronto on Wednesday night.

Trying to become the first Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012, Judge tops the AL with 130 RBIs. His batting average fell to .311, four points behind league leader Luis Arraez of Minnesota.

Baltimore (82-77) guaranteed its first winning season since 2016. The Orioles went 52-110 last year and became the first team since at least 1900 to have a winning record one season after losing 110 or more.

AL East champion New York (97-61) took another hit to an injury-ravaged bullpen when Ron Marinaccio left while pitching to Jorge Mateo in the eighth. The Yankees will be without Clay Holmes until the playoffs because of rotator cuff inflammation, and Aroldis Chapman (3-4) was once again wild, walking three, including rookie Gunnar Henderson with the bases loaded, as Baltimore surged ahead in the seventh.

Chi Chi Gonzalez, a 30-year-old right-hander, made his Yankees debut after pitching for Minnesota and Milwaukee in the majors earlier this season. He threw to Jose Trevino, his batterymate at Oral Roberts in 2012 and ’13.

Gonzalez allowed one run, four hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.

Bradish gave up one run – unearned – three hits and five walks in five-plus innings.

Logan Gillaspie (1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth in his first big league decision, Baker struck out five while getting six straight outs, and Dillon Tate got three outs for his fifth save.

Ryan Mountcastle had an RBI double in the first. Aaron Hicks scored from second base in the fifth when Bradish bounced a wild pitch and catcher Adley Rutschman threw the ball into center for an error.

Cedric Mullins reached on an infield hit starting the seventh against Chapman, has walked 28 in 35 1/3 innings. After Chapman walked three of four batters, Austin Hays followed with a sacrifice fly off Marinaccio.

WEB GEMS

Yankees 3B Josh Donaldson made a backhand grab on Jorge Mateo’s bases-loaded grounder in the sixth and from foul territory made a strong throw for the inning-ending out. … Hicks saved two runs with a sprinting catch on Terrin Vavra‘s slicing liner near the left-field line in the seventh.

FOR THE BOOKS

New York went 57-24 at home, matching most wins at new Yankee Stadium. Baltimore was 38-43 on the road, up from 20-61.

IN THE SEATS

The Yankees drew 3,136,207 for 78 home dates, down from 3,304,404 in 2019, the last season before two years of COVID restrictions. They had 16 sellouts, up from 12 in 2019.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Felix Bautista may not pitch for the rest of the season because of the sore left knee he injured Friday.

Yankees: Matt Carpenter (broken left foot on Aug 8) will not work out initially in the outfield at the Somerset, New Jersey, training camp this week. He was moved to the 60-day IL on Sunday, ruling him out of the Texas series. … RHP Miguel Castro (strained shoulder) could be activated Monday. … LHP Wandy Peralta, sidelined since Sept. 18 with back tightness, threw a bullpen session and will face hitters at Somerset on Tuesday or Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Dean Kremer (6-8, 3.17) starts Monday’s opener of a season-ending series against visiting Toronto and Jose Berrios (11-7, 5.37)

Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (6-3, 3.41) starts Monday in the opener of a four-game series at Texas and LHP Martin Perez (12-7, 2.93). After Wednesday, the Yankees have five off days before their Division Series opener at home on Oct. 11.