Tigers blanked by Triston McKenzie, Guardians in 4-0 loss

Richard Silva
The Detroit News

Triston McKenzie has historically dominated the Tigers.

The righty had matched up against Detroit five times in his career leading into Thursday night's game, allowing just four runs and punching out 37 in 30 2/3 innings of work.

And in Detroit's 4-0 loss to the Guardians, McKenzie tossed eight scoreless frames, striking out a career-best 12 and walking none.

BOX SCORE: Guardians 4, Tigers 0

Only two Tigers, Miguel Cabrera and Spencer Torkelson, didn't strike out at the hands of McKenzie. Riley Greene's nine-game streak of getting on base was also ended.

It's just the second time in their previous 26 games the Tigers were kept off the scoreboard.

"We obviously try not to carry any previous outing (into games)," manager AJ Hinch said postgame to a pool of reporters. "This is a different team. (McKenzie has) beaten similar names, but we knew we had our hands full. He's pitched well against the majority of our guys and he did again tonight."

Detroit's only opportunity with a runner in scoring position came in the sixth inning after Miguel Cabrera singled Victor Reyes over to third base, but he was left stranded.

"(McKenzie) was dominant," Hinch said. "Early it was the fastball, then it went to the breaking ball. He went back to the fastball later in the game and we didn't have a ton of good at-bats or good contact against him.

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"We scratched out five hits, but obviously his night missed a lot of bats. We had the one opportunity where we had two at-bats in one inning that (were) positive with two outs, then we punched (out). So, not a great night."

The Tigers enjoyed a solid outing from Elvin Rodríguez in his fifth career start, but spoiled it with their performance at the dish.

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Elvin Rodriguez delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Thursday, July 14, 2022, in Cleveland.

Rodriguez allowed seven hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings, registering career highs in innings tossed and pitches thrown. He got tagged for a run in the second inning courtesy of a Josh Naylor solo shot, and two more in the third with RBIs coming from José Ramirez and Andrés Giménez.

Naylor's blast went a projected 401 feet and left his bat at 104.2 mph.

"I just told (Rodriguez) I was proud of how he responded to the outing. I think how it started, and he fell behind a little bit, the homer, he hasn't been up here a ton and based on how he was the last time, he didn't back down.

"He continued to fall behind (in counts), but he battled and got us to the middle part of the game. I was proud of his effort even though it didn't go his way. He got out of a couple crucial jams to keep us in the game, where it could've broke open, where it has in the past."

Hinch also noted how the Tigers did option Rodriguez down after the game to get José Cisnero active for Friday, but said the team will "see him again."

The Tigers swept the Guardians in a four-game set earlier this month to begin a six-game winning streak, but have now lost six of their past seven.


Twitter: @Rich_Silva18