ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Isaac Paredes homered twice against his former teammates to double his career big league total, helping the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Detroit Tigers 6-1 Wednesday on an afternon Eduardo Rodriguez left in the first inning and headed to the injured list.
Rodriguez (1-3) lasted just one out and averaged 91.9 mph for his fastball, 2.4 mph below his season average. He left the mound with Tigers head athletic trainer Doug Teter.
“His left side is bothersome,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It got worse during his warmup. He tried to go out there, and you could tell he was off. He’ll be out for a bit. Likely IL.”
Rodriguez allowed three runs, four hits and two walks, throwing just 11 of 23 pitches for strikes. After signing a $77 million, five-year contract, he has a 4.38 ERA.
Among the Tigers rotation at the start of the season, Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tyler Alexander already have spent time on the IL.
“Nobody’s going to feel sorry or us,” Hinch said. “We’ve got to play better. We’ve got to hit better. We’ve got to play more up-tempo. We’ve got to get in the strike zone. I could keep going for a while. We’ve got a lot more to do than piecing together the rotation.”
Drew Rasmussen (4-1) allowed four hits in five shutout innings with seven strikeouts and no walks, improving to 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in his last five starts. Matt Wisler, Colin Poche and J.P. Feyereisen finished, with Feyereisen striking out two in the ninth during his 15th straight scoreless appearance.
Paredes, traded by the Tigers for Austin Meadows on April 5, hit solo home runs in the third off Rony García and in the eighth against Wily Peralta.
“After the first one, I heard guys in the bullpen saying some things,” Paredes said through a translator. “But after the second one, I don’t think they wanted to say anything.”
Paredes hit one home run each in 2020 and 2021 for the Tigers.
“Like I’ve said before, I want to beat them. I want to play against them,” he said. “But I’m just giving 100% of the skill that I have, and I’m just very fortunate to be here and have the opportunity to be able to play against them.”
Yandy Díaz had three of the 11 hits by the Rays, who won for the fifth time in seven games.
Spencer Torkelson homered in the seventh off Wisler and has a team-high four home runs for the Tigers, who have hit a major league-low 20 homers in 38 games.
Tampa Bay’s first five batters reached. Díaz, Wander Franco and Harold Ramírez loaded the bases with singles, Randy Arozarena walked on four pitches and Francisco Mejía hit a two-run single for a 3-0 lead.. After another walk, Rodriguez was replaced by García.
The three-run inning made it easy for Rasmussen.
“It really let me settle down and just work in the strike zone,” he said. “My goal today was to get back into my pitch count after the first (inning). Because we scored so much so early, it was easier to do that.”
Tigers: RHP Jose Cisnero, on the 60-day IL all season with a right shoulder strain, is scheduled for a bullpen session this week.
Rays: RHP Phoenix Sanders (low back spasms) was reinstated from the 15-day IL and optioned to Triple-A Durham.
Tigers: LHP Tarik Skubal (3-2, 2.50) will try to win his third straight start in Friday’s opener of a three-game series at Cleveland.
Rays: LHP Ryan Yarbrough (0-0, 4.91) will make his fourth start of the season Friday night at Baltimore.