|Tigers look for split of series with Indians|
A lot of different faces have dotted the Detroit Tigers' roster this season. Unexpectedly, the managerial office has a new occupant, too.
Ron Gardenhire announced his retirement, effective immediately, prior to the Saturday's 5-2 home win over Cleveland. Lloyd McClendon was named interim manager for the remainder of the season.
McClendon's second game as the manager on Sunday will close out the four-game series, with Detroit (22-29) looking for a split.
Gardenhire cited health reasons for his sudden departure.
"This is the right thing for me to do right now," he said. "I know I have to get myself feeling better."
Gardenhire, who joined the Tigers prior to the 2018 season, battled prostate cancer in 2017. He missed two games this season due to food poisoning and has become increasingly worn out over the last few weeks.
"The way I've been feeling since I had that bout of food poisoning in Minnesota and the stomach problems and the stress involved with this job, I told (general manager Al Avila) I'll step down right now," said Gardenhire, who added his hands have often been shaking due to the stress.
The Tigers scored four runs in the eighth inning to pull out Saturday's victory.
"The players were sad, but they were ready to play," McClendon said.
The Indians (28-24) have played for nearly a month without their manager, Terry Francona, who is dealing with blood clotting issues. Sandy Alomar Jr. has been filling in.
The Indians' scheduled Sunday starter, Carlos Carrasco (2-4, 3.27 ERA), has posted four consecutive quality starts. He allowed three runs in six innings against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday before departing with calf tightness.
The Indians staff said the move was precautionary, and they expect the veteran right-hander to stay on his normal schedule.
In his three outings before facing the Cubs, Carrasco gave up just a combined two runs in 19 innings. His worst start of the season came against the Tigers on Aug. 23. He gave up a season-high four runs, including homers to Niko Goodrum and Jorge Bonifacio, while lasting a season-low 3 1/3 innings.
Carrasco has faced Detroit 30 times in his career, including 24 starts. He's 11-9 with a 3.73 ERA in those games.
Left-hander Matthew Boyd (2-6, 6.75 ERA) will oppose Carrasco. Boyd bounced back from a poor outing against Milwaukee by holding Kansas City scoreless for 5 2/3 innings on Tuesday. He collected his second victory of the season while throwing a season-high 105 pitches.
"My preparation between starts wasn't a whole lot different. It was a matter of execution in that last start," he said. "I didn't lose the ability to throw my fastball down and away. I just didn't do it in my last start. So, it's, OK, let's get back to it."
In 12 career appearances against the Indians, including 11 starts, Boyd is 2-5 with a 3.76 ERA.
Cleveland hopes cleanup hitter Carlos Santana can break out of his slump. He's gone hitless in his last 17 at-bats. He still leads the majors with 43 walks.
"The one thing that you have to think about with Santana is that at least he takes a walk when he's struggling," Alomar said. "He manages to have longer at-bats. We have to get him going. He's a very important piece to our lineup."
--Field Level Media