Carpenter hits HR, Francona ejected as Tigers beat Guardians

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians saw their AL Central lead reduced to one game on Tuesday night.

They also had a beef with the umpires during and after their 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona was ejected in the ninth inning for arguing after the umpires ruled Myles Straw struck out with the tying run on third for the second out of the inning.

And catcher Austin Hedges was still steaming several hours later about a call in the first inning that helped Detroit take a 3-0 lead.

Rookie Tyler Freeman led off the ninth with a double and moved to third on Hedges’ sacrifice. Plate umpire Lance Barksdale originally ruled Straw fouled off a 2-2 pitch from Tigers All-Star closer Gregory Soto. The four umpires had a meeting and ruled Straw tipped the ball, but catcher Tucker Barnhart caught it before it hit the ground for strike three. Francona stormed out of the dugout and argued the call with Barksdale.

Francona was quickly ejected and remained on the field to continue the argument as the crowd booed. Straw also was ejected.

Steven Kwan, who was 3 for 3 with a walk, tapped back to Soto to end the game.

“You know, I thought he called foul ball,” Francona said. “And that’s what I was arguing. I can’t imagine they could overturn it from where they were, but I guess what they overturned is that he (Barnhart) caught the ball. I didn’t even see – I thought it was foul ball. I needed to yell at him anyway.”

Barksdale explained the decision to a pool reporter.

“We go on sound because we can’t see the ball down,” he said. “I thought I heard the ball hit the ground, which it did, but the catcher got his glove under it. I didn’t know it at the time. The catcher is telling me he caught the ball. We try to get the plays right. So I checked the ball and got my crew together and to a man no one else had the ball hitting the ground. So we changed it. We try to get the plays right. He foul tipped it and the catcher said he got his glove under it … and we said the ball did not hit the ground.”

A call in the first inning also went against Cleveland and helped Detroit score three runs after a challenge by Tigers manager A.J. Hinch. Detroit rookie Kerry Carpenter homered for the second straight night.

Cleveland starter Zach Plesac (2-11) appeared to have completed a scoreless inning thanks to a play at the plate. Javier Baez was on second with two outs when Harold Castro‘s grounder caromed off second base and rolled into left field. Shortstop Tyler Freeman retrieved the ball and threw to the plate after Baez was waved home.

Hedges tagged the sliding Baez and Barksdale gave the out call. Hinch challenged that Hedges blocked the sliding lane before catching the ball. The call was overturned after a review with the umpiring crew in New York.

“It’s a play that’s been called a few times now recently that really has never been called before,” Hedges said. “For some reason, New York feels like they need to take over the game and change the way the game’s played. Guys are just out. There’s plays at home that are beating the runners and for 150 years you’re out. And now, we’re calling some type of rule that is really tricky to define. To be able to take the game into their own hands that way and to, first of all, that cost one run automatically. And then what ended up (happening). Honestly, it’s a disgrace. It’s embarrassing.”

Francona argued the decision with Barksdale and third base umpire Alan Porter.

“They said the catcher did not give the runner the lane,” Barksdale said to the pool reporter about the umpires in New York. “He blocked the plate from the beginning.”

The Tigers, leading 1-0, took advantage of the overturned call as Plesac couldn’t finish off the inning. Plesac hasn’t won since June 5. The right-hander allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

The Tigers have won two of three against the AL Central leaders, who are one game ahead of Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox.

Garrett Hill (3-3) held Cleveland to one run in five innings.

Joe Jimenez inherited a 4-2 lead in the eighth, but had to work out of trouble to keep Detroit in the lead. Amed Rosario tripled and scored on Jose Ramirez’s bloop hit to center.

Rookie Oscar Gonzalez struck out and All-Star Andres Gimenez fouled out. Josh Naylor, who wasn’t in the lineup after tweaking his ankle Monday, received a loud ovation when he batted for Owen Miller.

Naylor worked the count to 2-2 but grounded out sharply to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who was playing in shallow right field.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal, out for the season with a sore elbow, has been examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, and the team is still waiting for results.

UP NEXT

Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (0-4, 5.97 ERA) pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the White Sox on Aug. 12, his first appearance with Detroit this season after signing a minor-league contract last month.

Guardians: RHP Cal Quantrill (9-5, 3.67 ERA) held Toronto to one hit and struck out seven in seven shutout innings on Aug. 12.

Yankees star Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers - Game Two
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard.

The 30-year-old Yankees slugger drove a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesus Tinoco into the first couple of rows of seats in left field when leading off the second game of New York’s day-night doubleheader.

Maris’ 61 for the Yankees in 1961 had been exceeded six times previously, but all were tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year. Barry Bonds hit an MLB-record 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001, and the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris as holder of the legitimate record.

A Ruthian figure with a smile as outsized as his body, the 6-foot-7 Judge has rocked the major leagues with a series of deep drives that hearken to the sepia tone movie reels of his legendary pinstriped predecessors.

“He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ,” Roger Maris Jr. said Wednesday night after his father’s mark was matched by Judge. “I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.”

Judge had homered only once in the past 13 games, and that was when he hit No. 61 last Wednesday in Toronto. The doubleheader nightcap in Texas was his 55th game in row played since Aug. 5.

After a single in five at-bats in the first game Tuesday, Judge was 3 for 17 with five walks and a hit by pitch since moving past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league record for 34 years. Maris hit his 61st off Boston’s Tracy Stallard at old Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1, 1961.

Judge has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012. He leads the AL with 131 RBIs and began the day trailing Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315.

The home run in his first at-bat put him back to .311, where he had started the day before dropping a point in the opener.

Judge’s accomplishment will cause endless debate.

“To me, the holder of the record for home runs in a season is Roger Maris,” author George Will said earlier this month. “There’s no hint of suspicion that we’re seeing better baseball than better chemistry in the case of Judge. He’s clean. He’s not doing something that forces other players to jeopardize their health.”