|10:10 AM PT11:10 AM MT12:10 PM CT1:10 PM ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 AM MST12:10 PM EST12:40 PM VEN21:10 UAE12:10 PM CT, May 9, 2019
Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan Attendance: 16,404
Rodriguez, Tigers chase series win vs. Angels
Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers
- The Angels are averaging 3.36 runs on the road this season, slugging .308 with only eight home runs. Their runs per game on the road this season ranks 26th in MLB, while their slugging and home run total both rank last.
- Detroit's relievers have posted a 9.99 ERA since April 26 and have allowed a home run in four straight games. Opponents are slugging .470 against the Tigers' bullpen this season, second highest in MLB behind the Orioles' bullpen (.516).
- The home team won seven of the eight games in this series last season, with Los Angeles sweeping a three-game set in Anaheim and Detroit winning three of four games at Comerica. The Angels outhomered the Tigers, 13-6, last season, while also outscoring them, 11-4, after the sixth inning.
- With two home runs on Sunday, Jonathan Lucroy has matched his home run total (four) from last season. After slugging .325 in 126 games with Oakland in 2018, he has a .408 slugging percentage in 29 games this season, including slugging .556 with eight runs scored in his last eight games.
- Miguel Cabrera is hitting .387 in his last seven games, but has only three extra-base hits in that time. Of his 36 hits this season, 29 have been singles, tied for the third-highest percentage (80.6) in MLB (minimum 30 hits).
- Shohei Ohtani traveled with the Angels to Detroit for this series and will be evaluated to determine if he's ready to play. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year became the second player in MLB history to start at least 10 games and hit at least 20 home runs in a season (10 starts, 22 home runs), joining Babe Ruth in 1919 (15 starts, 29 home runs).
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Ronny Rodriguez started the season in the minor leagues. Right now, he's leading the Detroit Tigers' offense.
The 27-year-old infielder is giving the Tigers a much-needed boost, batting .340 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 14 games since being elevated from Triple-A Toledo.
Rodriguez drove in four runs in a 10-3 Detroit victory over the visiting Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. The teams will play the rubber game of the three-game series on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
Rodriguez came up a homer shy of the cycle, but his long-ball total matches the combined output of the Tigers' most accomplished sluggers, Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera.
"He's really swinging, getting a lot of hits," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We need people to get hot with him. Nicky's starting to swing a little better, Cabby's been swinging it, but we need more up and down the lineup. Fortunately, he came up and we put him in the middle of it and he's been getting his hits."
Rodriguez made his major league debut with Detroit last season, appearing in 62 games. He batted just .220 with a .256 on-base percentage.
"He's a confident young man, and you can see it out on the field," Gardenhire said. "He can hit. He's always hit through the minor leagues, and he's getting an opportunity. Last year, he came up and got his feet wet. Now, we bring him up here in the middle of this thing and he's having a good time. He's one of those guys who lifts everybody up."
Left-hander Ryan Carpenter was called up from Toledo after Wednesday's game to make the Thursday start for Detroit in his major league season debut.
Carpenter, 28, is filling in for Jordan Zimmermann, who is on the 10-day injured list due to a right elbow sprain.
The Angels had not announced a starting pitcher for Thursday as of Wednesday night.
Carpenter made his major league debut with Detroit last season, appearing in six games, including five starts. He wound up 1-2 with a 7.25 ERA. He started a game against the Angels last May, allowing one run on five hits in four innings.
In six starts with Toledo this year, Carpenter was 1-4 with a 4.09 ERA. He was a tough-luck loser in his latest outing, giving up just one run on three hits in six innings against Columbus.
Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani is still looking for his first hit this season, as he is 0-for-7. He has played in the first two games of the series after recovering well enough from Tommy John surgery to bat. He went 0-for-3 on Wednesday and was also hit by a pitch on his well-protected elbow.
The Angels expect Ohtani to give them a power boost once he gets in a groove.
"Ohtani injects some offense, for sure," manager Brad Ausmus said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Definitely power. I compare him to (Cabrera). Miggy is the biggest power I've seen off the bat, and Shohei has similar power."
Ohtani is hitting in the No. 3 spot in the order behind Mike Trout, who struck out three times while going 0-for-4 on Wednesday.
"He sets such a high standard that he goes 0-for-a-game, it seems like a slump," Ausmus said of Trout. "I don't think he feels great at the plate right now."
--Field Level Media
Updated May 9, 2019