DETROIT (AP) — Andy Ibañez had his first two-homer game to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago Cubs 8-6 on Tuesday night.
“It was very impressive — that’s the first time in my major league career that I’ve had the chance to hit two homers — but the important thing is that we won the game,” Ibañez said through an interpreter. “The coaching staff has given me a lot of opportunities, and I’m very happy to have a big role on this team. That’s what makes this special.”
Tyler Holton (3-2) got the victory with 1 1/3 innings of relief. Alex Lange pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
The bullpen pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Reese Olson.
“Right now, our bullpen gives us a lot of routes to win games,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “The important thing is none of those guys care when they pitch — they all want each other to get the job done. It’s nice when they all do it on the same night.”
Former Tiger Drew Smyly (9-9) took the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.
“I thought he was settling right in there until that last inning,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “That was a big, crooked number when we need to be better there.”
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first on a solo homer by Ibañez and an RBI single by Kerry Carpenter.
Zach McKinstry made it 3-0 with a second-inning sacrifice fly before both teams scored four times in the third.
In the top of the inning, Ian Happ walked and, with one out, Dansby Swanson hit a two-run homer. After Seiya Suzuki’s single, Jeimer Candelario put the Cubs up 4-3 with a long home run against his former team.
Smyly, though, couldn’t hold the lead.
With two on and one out, Candelario made a diving stop of Matt Vierling’s grounder down the line, but threw wildly to first. That allowed Parker Meadows to score the tying run before Ibañez hit his second homer of the night to left.
“I think our fans are getting a glimpse of what he can do at this level in these two games,” Hinch said. “He’s done so much work to get ready to do this, and it is awesome to see the impact he’s having so quickly.”
The teams will finish the three-game series Wednesday, with Chicago RHP Jameson Taillon (7-8, 5.56) set to face LHP Tarik Skubal (3-2, 3.76).