CLEVELAND (AP) — Eduardo Rodriguez struck out eight over seven innings, Javier Báez had two hits and two runs and the Detroit Tigers cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday to win the three-game series.
Rodriguez (4-2) gave up four hits and two walks, allowing only two runners past first base in his sixth straight dominant performance. The left-hander is 4-0 with a 0.43 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings since April 12.
Báez singled, doubled and scored twice in the first three innings as the Tigers built a 5-0 lead. Andy Ibañez and Akil Baddoo each had RBI doubles, Spencer Torkelson singled in a run and Riley Greene plated another off Cleveland starter Peyton Battenfield (0-4).
In two starts against the Guardians this year, Rodriguez has thrown 15 scoreless innings and earned two wins. He also bested Battenfield on April 18 at Comerica Park and is 4-0 in his career against Cleveland.
Jason Foley and Chasen Shreve wrapped up the combined four-hitter and Detroit’s fourth shutout of the season. The Tigers handed the Guardians their fifth series loss in six home series this season.
Tyler Freeman singled twice and David Fry had his first major league hit for the Guardians, who loaded the bases in the fourth with two outs before Rodriguez struck out Mike Zunino.
Battenfield gave up a season-high five runs on seven hits in six innings, striking out four. The rookie right-hander carried a perfect game into the sixth inning of his last start against Minnesota but remains winless in six big league outings.
Guardians 2B Andrés Giménez was not in the lineup after batting .134 over the previous 20 games, managing just nine hits in 67 at-bats. Giménez was a first-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner last season.
“Mentally, it’s probably good for him,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s having a tough time and (Rodriguez) is tough on everybody. Sometimes, it just will do a kid good.”
Tigers: RHP Beau Brieske (right upper arm discomfort), who has been on the 15-day injured list since March 30, has resumed throwing. Brieske has not pitched in the majors since July 12, 2022, at Kansas City but made five spring training appearances.
Guardians: RHP Aaron Civale (left oblique strain) threw 30 pitches Tuesday in Goodyear, Arizona, reaching 91-93 mph. Francona said Civale will throw again Saturday, continuing his comeback from the injury that occurred on April 7 against Seattle.
Tigers: LHP Matthew Boyd (2-2, 5.28 ERA) takes on Mariners LHP Marco Gonzales (2-0, 4.70 ERA) as Detroit begins a five-game homestand Friday.
Guardians: LHP Logan Allen (1-1, 2.70 ERA) faces Angels LHP Tyler Anderson (1-0, 5.40 ERA) in the opener of a three-game home series Friday.