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Giants’ Carlos Rodon set to renew rivalry with Tigers

Jun 17, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Carlos Rodon (16) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Left-hander Carlos Rodon is scheduled to make a start against a former American League Central rival when the San Francisco Giants open a two-game home series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.

Rodon (6-4, 2.70 ERA) signed with the Giants as a free agent last winter after having spent the first seven years of his major-league career with the Chicago White Sox. The 29-year-old faced the Tigers nine times over that span, going 4-2 with a 5.33 ERA.

Rodon faced Detroit three times last season. On the first occasion, he held them to one run in six innings with 12 strikeouts in a 3-1 win, then to one hit in seven innings with nine strikeouts in a 4-1 win. In the third game, Rodon gave up three runs in three innings in a 4-3 loss.

The Giants could use either of those winning efforts after watching the Cincinnati Reds come to town and win two of three. The Reds bombed San Francisco starter Anthony DeSclafani for seven runs in the third inning of a 10-3 Giants defeat Sunday.

Both the Giants and Tigers had Monday off.

Monday nonetheless will count as one of the 10 days Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford must spend on the injured list after he was shelved Sunday. Crawford hadn’t been able to shake the pain of inflammation in his left knee that resulted from a collision at home plate in Atlanta last Tuesday.

The Giants also have Thursday off, meaning Crawford might have to miss just eight games.

“This is an opportunity to get a player who hasn’t really been healthy for the majority of the season and give him a break,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Sometimes a stretch of seven days without having to grind through the rigors of the game can be really big for a player.”

Coincidentally, Crawford has been replaced on the active roster by one of Rodon’s former teammates, Yermin Mercedes, who was promoted from Triple-A.

Primarily a DH in his career, Mercedes made his Giants debut in Sunday’s loss as a late-game replacement at first base. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

He does have previous experience against Tarik Skubal (5-5, 3.63), the Tigers’ projected starter Tuesday, having gone 0-for-2 with a walk for the White Sox last June.

Skubal has never faced the Giants in his three-year career.

The 25-year-old left-hander has lost his last three starts, games in which the Tigers have been beaten 6-0, 7-0 and 6-2. He’s been charged with 15 runs in 13 2/3 innings in those games.

The Tigers are coming off a 2-1 series win at Arizona. They were denied a sweep with an 11-7 loss Sunday in a game in which catcher Eric Haase hit a three-run homer.

“He’s dangerous when he stays inside the zone,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch warned of Haase, who has more strikeouts (31) than hits (25) this season. “When he gets the ball in the zone, he can hit.”

Detroit star Miguel Cabrera went a quiet 3-for-12 in the series. He’s hit six career homers at Oracle Park, the most recent two coming on back-to-back days in July 2007 off Matt Cain and Matt Morris.

–Field Level Media