CLEVELAND — All-Star José Ramírez blooped a go-ahead, two-run double as the Cleveland Guardians scored six runs with two outs in the eighth inning, rallying for an 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.
“It’s the belief we have in each other,” Kwan said. “Guys were just grinding at-bats out, and it’s the luck of baseball, as well.”
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.
“I went from, ‘Yeah, all right,’ to ‘Well, crap,’ pretty quickly,” Chafin said. “It’s not a nice game and it’s going to get you like that sometimes. That’s baseball for you.”
Rosario greeted Alex Lange with a game-tying infield single that scored Myles Straw, and Ramírez 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.
The Guardians became the first major league team to strikeout three times before scoring six runs in any inning since at least 1961, according to Elias.
“How many times do you hear me say, ‘Keep playing, keep playing,'” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “That was kind of the ultimate example. Sometimes, it’s hard for us to win, but it’s always better than losing.”
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.
“It happened fast against a contact team, but obviously we should have been out of that inning,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said.
Castro’s homer in the sixth extended Detroit’s lead to 4-1. All-Star Andrés Giménez scored on a passed ball in the bottom half to pull Cleveland within two.
Gonzalez had two hits and two RBIs, and Kwan and Andrés Giménez 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 Báez.
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.
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 Báez, 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.”
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.
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.
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