Guardians score 6 runs in 8th, rally past Tigers 8-4

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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CLEVELAND – All-Star Jose Ramirez blooped a go-ahead, two-run double as the Cleveland Guardians scored six runs with two outs in the eighth inning, rallying for a 8-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.

Rookies Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez had RBI doubles, and Amed Rosario and Owen Miller added run-scoring singles in the eighth for the AL Central-leading Guardians. Cleveland trailed 4-1 in the sixth and 4-2 entering the eighth.

Andrew Chafin (0-3) struck out the first three batters in the inning, but tossed a wild pitch that allowed Luke Maile to reach and extend the frame. Cleveland then rattled off five straight hits and had seven consecutive men reach base.

Rosario greeted Alex Lange with a game-tying infield single that scored Myles Straw, and Ramirez followed with a soft fly that landed in front of left fielder Akil Baddoo. Kwan and Rosario scored to put the Guardians up 6-4.

Cleveland remained one game ahead of Minnesota in the division. Bryan Shaw (6-2) retired one batter for the win.

Willi Castro hit a solo homer and Victor Reyes and Eric Haase had RBI singles for Detroit, which has lost nine of its last 11 games and fired general manager Al Avila last week. Rookie Kerry Carpenter had a sacrifice fly for his fourth RBI in the four-game series.

Castro’s homer in the sixth extended Detroit’s lead to 4-1. All-Star Andres Gimenez scored on a passed ball in the bottom half to pull Cleveland within two.

Gonzalez had two hits and two RBIs, and Kwan and Andres Gimenez had two hits apiece.

Left-hander Daniel Norris, who was released by the Cubs on July 22, gave up four hits, walked two, hit three batters and struck out five in his second outing since rejoining the Tigers.

Detroit went in front 2-1 in the fourth, plating two runs to end Cal Quantrill‘s 18-inning scoreless streak. Carpenter drove in the first for his fourth RBI in the four-game series and Haase singled home Javier Baez.

Quantrill allowed four runs in six innings, but remained 11-0 in 28 career games in the ballpark.

The Guardians won 10 of 19 games against Detroit this season, evening their all-time series at 1,144-1,144.

UNEXPECTED AID

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch credited the Progressive Field scoreboard director with an assist on his successful challenge Tuesday. Guardians catcher Austin Hedges was ruled to have blocked the sliding lane when tagging out Baez, overturning the on-field out call.

“I wouldn’t have considered challenging if they hadn’t shown the replay on the board,” Hinch said. “After I saw it and realized Hedges was blocking the plate, I told (umpire Lance Barksdale) to look at the board. He said he couldn’t, so I said ask New York.”

UNDER THE KNIFE

Tigers LHP Tarik Skubal underwent surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon and is expected to be sidelined into 2023. His season ends after 21 starts with a 7-8 record and 3.52 ERA.

“It’s hard to be optimistic when one of your best players goes in for surgery,” Hinch said. “But when one of the most trusted doctors in the world (Neal ElAttrache) says he expects Tarik to make a perfect recovery, that’s good enough for me.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: OF Austin Meadows (bilateral Achilles strain) was pulled from his third rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo due to ongoing discomfort. Meadows, who has been on the IL since June 17, batted .188 in four games with the Mud Hens.

Guardians: RHP Cody Morris (right back strain) has started twice and earned one save in three appearances on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Morris has a 1.80 ERA in six total games for the Clippers and Arizona Complex League.

UP NEXT

Tigers: RHP Matt Manning (0-0, 3.24 ERA) takes the hill Friday in the opener of a three-game series against the Angels at Comerica Park.

Guardians: RHP Triston McKenzie (8-9, 3.14 ERA) starts Friday as Cleveland continues its homestand with three games against the White Sox.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.