The Guardians bullpen held the Tigers scoreless over the final five frames, setting the stage for Andrés Giménez to plate the game-winning go-ahead run with a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning as Cleveland rallied past Detroit, 6-5, for their second straight win.
Trailing 5-4 in the seventh inning, Myles Straw drew a leadoff walk. Steven Kwan followed with a chopper over the head of first baseman Harold Castro, hustling around the basepaths to turn it into a double and put runners on second and third with no outs. After striking out Amed Rosario, Tigers reliever Michael Fulmer intentionally walked Ramírez, but Josh Naylor delivered a sac fly to tie the game. Giménez then came to the plate and blooped an RBI single into left field to score Kwan, allowing the Guardians to take a 6-5 lead they would never relinquish.
The Guardians wasted no time providing Zach Plesac with run support. In the first inning with Tigers starting pitcher Drew Hutchison on the mound, Steven Kwan walked and then came around to score thanks to back-to-back singles by Rosario and Ramírez. Naylor contributed an RBI groundout to score Rosario, before Owen Miller launched a two-out RBI triple to the wall in straightaway center field to make it 3-0 in favor of the home team.
But that 3-0 lead would not last.
The ugliest inning of the game for Zach Plesac and the Guardians was the fourth. It started with a solo home run by Riley Greene in the third inning, but Plesac unraveled the second time through the order. Though I would point out he does not shoulder all of the blame.
To start the fourth inning, Javier Baez reached on a sharp grounder to third, where Ramírez couldn’t backhand it off the bounce and was charged with an error. After Plesac got Miguel Cabrera to pop up an infield fly, Harold Castro drilled an RBI double to the right field corner, scoring one batter later on a Willi Castro RBI single to tie it up. The next at-bat, Jonathan Schoop chopped a grounder to Plesac, who instinctively fired the ball to Rosario to start the double play. But Rosario was not covering second base and neither was Giménez, allowing both runners to reach base safely. Robbie Grossman singled to load the bases, and Plesac’s night came to a close after a two-out RBI double by Greene to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead.
The damage could have been much worse had the umpires denied the Guardians the third out of the inning. Victor Reyes hit a pop-up near the home dugout and Austin Hedges was able to snag it. But as he was catching it, his foot came down on the top step of the dugout. By rule, a player is not allowed to enter the dugout to make a catch, the exception being if your momentum carries you into the dugout after the catch. At least one member of the umpiring crew initially wanted to deny Hedges the catch, but after much discussion, Cleveland was awarded the out.
Credit where credit is due: Once Plesac hit the showers, the Guardians bullpen locked it down. Enyel De Los Santos put out the fire at the end of the fourth inning before pitching a scoreless fifth. Bryan Shaw pitched two innings of scoreless relief, giving way to Eli Morgan in the eighth. With Emmanuel Clase unavailable, Trevor Stephan pitched the ninth inning to close it out.