Eduardo Rodriguez's scoreless streak ends in Detroit Tigers' 7-4 win over Orioles

Detroit Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez couldn't keep his scoreless streak intact forever.

It lasted 18 innings.

Rodriguez gave up a solo home run to Baltimore Orioles catcher James McCann, an ex-Tiger, in the second inning in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader. He was sharp the rest of the way, though, as the Tigers took down the Orioles, 7-4, and snapped a two-game losing skid.

The Tigers (10-15) beat the Orioles for the first time in five games this season. The offense collected 16 hits (plus three walks) and went 4-for-17 with runners in scoring position.

JEFF SEIDEL: Tigers need some offense. So why not call up Justyn-Henry Malloy?

NOTEBOOK: Tigers transfer Matt Manning to 60-day injured list; Kerry Carpenter to 10-day IL

Tigers pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez pitches in the second inning against the Orioles in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Comerica Park.

In his 18-inning scoreless stretch, Rodriguez racked up 19 strikeouts without issuing a walk. On Saturday, he allowed one run on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts across 5⅔ innings, throwing 62 of 98 pitches for strikes.

McCann hit Rodriguez's fifth-pitch fastball, in a 3-1 count, for a 419-foot home run to left-center with one out in the second. McCann, a 10-year MLB veteran, has two homers this season — both against the Tigers.

Right-handed reliever Mason Englert took over with runners on first and second in the sixth inning, with the Tigers ahead by four runs. He walked a batter to load the bases but escaped the jam.

Rodriguez, who signed a five-year, $77 million contract in November 2021, has a 0.68 ERA with one walk and 19 strikeouts in 26⅔ innings over his past four starts. The 30-year-old can opt out of his contract at the end of the season.

Englert carried the Tigers through the eighth inning but surrendered three runs in his final inning. Jorge Mateo blasted a three-run home run off his first-pitch changeup to trim the Tigers' lead to 6-4, following singles from Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander.

Zack Short, the Tigers' 27th player for the doubleheader, blasted a solo home run on a first-pitch fastball in the eighth inning. The Tigers took a 7-4 lead, and right-handed reliever Alex Lange slammed the door on the Orioles in the ninth inning for his third save in his fourth opportunity.

Lange stranded runners on the corners with a strikeout of Mountcastle.

Scoring early and often

The Tigers entered Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader with three first-inning runs in the previous 24 games. Facing Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer, the Tigers matched that in one game.

Eight batters stepped to the plate, and the Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on hits from Javier Báez and Matt Vierling. Báez drove in one run with a single, while Vierling drove in two runs with a single.

The inning started with a leadoff single from Zach McKinstry on his 28th birthday.

RILEY'S SLUMP: Tigers' Riley Greene pins slump on 'missing the mistakes' but stays positive

TORK'S SWING RATE: Here's why Tigers' Spencer Torkelson is swinging more, walking less in 2023

Tigers second baseman Zach McKinstry, left, receives congratulations from first baseman Spencer Torkelson after scoring in the first inning against the Orioles in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Comerica Park.

The Tigers kept the pressure on Kremer in the second inning, as McKinstry doubled to right field with one out. Riley Greene hit a line-drive single to center field and increased the advantage to 4-1.

In the third inning, Matt Vierling ripped a two-strike, two-out double to center field and drove in Nick Maton for a 5-1 lead.

Kremer allowed five runs on 11 hits and two walks with six strikeouts over five innings. The Tigers put eight balls in play with at least a 100 mph exit velocity, and six of those balls in play resulted in hits.

Scoring later on

The Tigers added another run in the seventh inning.

Another two-strike, two-out double from Vierling, this time facing left-hander DL Hall, put the Tigers ahead, 6-1, in the seventh. Vierling finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Greene went 2-for-4 with one RBI, a walk and a strikeout.

A BIG HIT: Nick Maton declares 'one game can change everything' after homer helps end slump

E-ROD'S ALMOST PERFECT GAME: Eduardo Rodriguez's 'incredible' gem ends in another frustrating loss for Tigers

Tigers right fielder Matt Vierling hits a two-run single in the first inning against the Orioles in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Comerica Park.

The Tigers received multi-hit performances from McKinstry, Greene, Maton, Vierling, Short and Akil Baddoo. The offense produced 16 hits and three walks with 13 strikeouts against two pitchers.

Short delivered the final blow, and countered the Orioles' three-run inning, with a solo homer off Hall to begin the bottom of the eighth. It was his first homer in the big leagues since the 2021 season.

He finished 3-for-4 with one strikeout at the plate and completed two spectacular plays at shortstop.

Contact Evan Petzold at or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers' bats wake up in 7-4 win over Orioles in Game 1