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  W: F. Peña (2-1)   L: R. Carpenter (0-1)
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

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

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