Kody Clemens hitless in MLB debut, Tigers split with Twins
DETROIT (AP) — Jonathan Schoop homered and drove in four runs as the Detroit Tigers, with Kody Clemens making his major league debut while his famous father watched from a suite, beat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 Tuesday night to split a doubleheader.
“I had so much fun today,” Clemens said. “It was awesome.”
Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens saw his 26-year-old son go 0 for 3, striking out twice and drawing a walk. Flawless in the field at second base, Kody Clemens handled a grounder for the final out of the game.
“He’s worked really hard to get here and it finally happened for him,” Roger Clemens said between games. “I think some PGA golfers are wearing heart monitors now - I’d love to see his heart rate right now.”
Max Kepler had three hits and drove in three runs and Gary Sanchez hit a three-run homer to help the Twins to an 8-2 win in the first game.
In the second game, Schoop hit a two-run homer in the first inning and added a two-run single off second baseman Jorge Polanco’s glove.
“I hit that first ball hard, but the second one was just luck,” he said. “I hit it at the second baseman and it took a massive bounce sideways.”
Schoop is Detroit’s everyday second baseman, but served as the designated hitter so Clemens could start at his natural position.
“I had no problem with that - I’m happy to do whatever they need,” he said. “(Clemens) was really calm out there, just like he’s always been. He’s been around baseball since he was a kid, so he knows how to handle this.”
Tigers starter Joey Wentz, making his second major league appearance, allowed just one hit in four innings, but left with a shoulder strain while pitching to the first batter of the fifth inning.
“He didn’t feel a thing until the fifth, but then he had a little strain — almost more in his neck - when he was warming up,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We could see right away that his velocity was down, so we got out there. He’ll have the battery of tests tomorrow.”
Reliever Wily Peralta (2-0) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Five Tigers pitchers combined on the three-hit shutout.
“We had a plan -- we wanted to get on top of some fastballs, especially early in the game,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We weren’t able to do that, and we couldn’t force them out over the plate.”
“It was a long day at the ballpark. We wanted to get two wins and we ended up with one,” he said.
Minnesota starter Cole Sands (0-1) allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in four innings.
Devin Smeltzer (2-0) was the winner in the first game, giving up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Rony Garcia (0-1) allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings.
Minnesota took a 2-0 lead in the first on a two-run double by Trevor Larnach, and the Twins added four more runs in the third.
Byron Buxton led off with a single — his first hit in 24 at-bats against Detroit this season — and scored on Kepler’s double.
Polanco singled, and with one out Sanchez hit his sixth a three-run homer to left for his sixth homer of the season.
Miguel Cabrera singled — career hit No. 3,030 — and scored in the fourth to make it 6-1, but Kepler added a two-run single in the seventh.
Daz Cameron ended Smeltzer’s day with an RBI double in the seventh.
Tigers rookie Spencer Torkelson had his second straight three-hit game in the opener.
Twins: Shortstop Carlos Correa was placed on the COVID-19 list and replaced by infielder Jermaine Palacios, who made his major league debut in the first game. Kepler returned after missing Monday’s game with a sore quadriceps. ... Sonny Gray (shoulder) played long-toss catch and is scheduled to do the same Wednesday.
Tigers: Cabrera started the opener after sitting out two games with back stiffness.
In the fourth game of a five-game series, RHP Bailey Ober (1-1, 3.25) starts for the Twins against LHP Tarik Skubal (3-2, 2.44) on Wednesday night.
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