Rodriguez gets 1st MLB win, Orioles split DH with Tigers

DETROIT (AP) — Grayson Rodriguez pitched five shutout innings with nine strikeouts for his first major league win, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 on Saturday to split a doubleheader.

Ryan McKenna homered and drove in three runs for the Orioles, who have won 10 of their last 12 games. Detroit fell to 2-13 against AL East opponents.

“That was a fun day,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. “I would have rather gone 2-0 and not almost blown a six-run lead in the second game, but it wasn’t bad.”

Matt Vierling had three hits and four RBIs as the Tigers won the opener 7-4.

Baltimore took control of the nightcap by scoring four second-inning runs off Matthew Boyd (1-2) on five singles and a wild pitch.

Zach McKinstry led off the Tigers first with a double, but Detroit didn’t get another baserunner until Miguel Cabrera’s single with two outs in the fifth.

A top-rated prospect, Rodriguez (1-0) allowed two hits and set a career high for strikeouts in his fifth big league start. Afterward, he was at the center of a messy celebration in the clubhouse.

“That was something I’ve never experienced before,” Rodriguez said. “There was a lot of ketchup and mustard — we’ll leave it at that.”

McKenna made it 6-0 with a two-run homer in the sixth, but the Tigers scored four runs in the bottom half, capped by Tyler Nevin’s three-run homer.

Felix Bautista pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

In the first game, Zack Short went 3 for 4 with a home run and Eduardo Rodriguez pitched effectively into the sixth inning for the Tigers.

Short, who walked and scored in the second game, was called up from the minors as the 27th man for the doubleheader. But he earned a spot on the major league team — Nevin is going back to Triple-A Toledo instead.

“I can’t say I expected that to happen today, but that’s why I’m here,” Short said. “I want to prove to them that I belong here.”

Jorge Mateo had a three-run homer for Baltimore in the opener.

Eduardo Rodriguez (2-2) allowed one run on four hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six. He is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA in his last four starts.

Alex Lange pitched the ninth for his third save.

Orioles starter Dean Kremer (2-1) gave up five runs on 11 hits and two walks in six innings.

The Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Javier Báez and a two-run single by Vierling.

James McCann homered in the second, snapping Eduardo Rodriguez’s 18-inning scoreless streak. It was McCann’s second home run for Baltimore, both against his former team.

Riley Greene made it 4-1 with an RBI single in the second, scoring McKinstry for the second time on his 28th birthday.

Vierling added RBI doubles in the third and seventh.

McCann popped out with the bases loaded to end the sixth, but Mateo trimmed it to 6-4 with a three-run homer off Mason Englert in the eighth.

Short, the No. 9 batter, homered in the eighth to make it 7-4.


Baltimore added LHP DL Hall as the 27th man for the doubleheader. Making his season debut, Hall allowed two runs and five hits over three innings of relief in the opener.


With his win in the opener, Eduardo Rodriguez improved to 11-0 in his last 15 appearances against Baltimore. That matches Clayton Kershaw’s 11-game winning streak against the New York Mets as the longest active run for any major league pitcher against one opponent.


Grayson Rodriguez made his second consecutive start versus the Tigers and still hasn’t allowed a run against them. He has held Detroit to seven hits in 10 scoreless innings, striking out 15.


After McKinstry’s leadoff double in the second game, Riley Greene hit a ball into the hole that got past Gunnar Henderson at third, but was fielded by Mateo at shortstop. Seeing the base uncovered, McKinstry broke for third — but Mateo raced over to tag him.

“We were talking about it in the dugout, and none of us ever remember seeing a shortstop make that play,” Hyde said. “That’s the kind of closing speed they were drafting in the NFL.”


Tigers: Placed OF Kerry Carpenter (shoulder) on the 10-day injured list and selected INF Andy Ibanez from Triple-A Toledo.


The teams finish their four-game series Sunday, with Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish (1-1, 6.30) facing Spencer Turnbull (1-3, 7.25).


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