Rodriguez had three hits and two RBIs as the Tigers beat the Indians 12-5 Wednesday for their first six-game winning streak since May 2002. A win in the finale would give the Tigers their first seven-game run since Aug. 21-28, 1993.
Rodriguez went 43-for-86 in June to became the first major leaguer to hit .500 for a month since Colorado’s Todd Helton in May 2000.
“Those are PlayStation or Xbox numbers,” Tigers outfielder Rondell White said. “I’ve played with some great players, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Rodriguez, who leads the AL with a .381 average, is the first Tigers player to top .450 in a month.
“A lot of great players have gone to the Hall of Fame after playing here, so I’m very pleased to be the only one to do this,” he said.
“We’re playing very well right now,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “We came from behind tonight, which was big.”
Lou Merloni drove in two runs in the loss for the Indians, who have dropped four of five.
Starting in place of the injured C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee is returning to the mound after serving a six-game suspension for throwing at Ken Griffey Jr. on June 13. Lee was originally suspended on June 19, but appealed the decision and did not begin serving it until June 24.
The left-hander has won back-to-back starts, including a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on June 18.