Eduardo Rodriguez's return to mound buoys Detroit Tigers in Sunday's 4-0 shutout of Los Angeles Angels
By DAVE HOGG
DETROIT — Eduardo Rodriguez pitched five shutout innings in his return to the Tigers, helping Detroit to a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
“That’s the best result I could have gotten,” he said. “I came back and I helped us win a game. I wasn’t nervous, because I had some games in the minors. As soon I threw the first pitch, I was ready to go.”
The Tigers’ Riley Greene hit a 448-foot homer on the first pitch he saw from Angels starter Shohei Ohtani (10-8) — the longest home run Ohtani has allowed in the majors, one that went over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-centerfield. Greene ended up reaching base four times.
“That’s a spot where you are looking for one pitch in a specific location, and that’s what he threw,” the rookie said. “It’s awesome to get the team off to a fast start, especially when you are facing a great pitcher like Ohtani.”
Ohtani left the game with a stomach virus after four innings as he allowed three runs on five hits and four walks.
Rodriguez (2-3) hadn’t pitched in the majors since suffering a rib-cage injury on May 18. He left the team after a June 9 rehab assignment to deal with family issues, and was on the restricted list until Friday.
“I expected him to be good — he had worked well in rehab and he told us he was ready,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
Detroit’s pitchers held the Angels scoreless in the final 15 innings of the series. Los Angeles had two on and two out in the third, but Greene made a diving catch in center to rob Luis Rengifo of at least one RBI.
“That’s a game-changing play right there,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “He makes that catch, and then (Victor) Reyes takes one away from (Taylor) Ward at the wall when it was pouring. If it wasn’t raining, that’s over the fence.”
Ohtani retired the first two batters in the fourth, but walked Akil Baddoo and Greene before Reyes made it 3-0 with a triple.
Kody Clemens increased the lead to 4-0 in the fifth with an RBI double off Jimmy Herget.