Tigers rookie Kody Clemens hit his first career MLB home run Saturday night, a three-run shot that lifted his team to a 6-3 win over the Diamondbacks.
Facing Arizona reliever Joe Mantiply in the sixth inning, the 26-year-old utility man turned on a 1-2 pitch and broke a 3-3 tie to put the visiting Tigers ahead for good.
“As soon as I hit it I knew it had a chance, and as soon as I was about to go around first, I saw it was going out and [Mantiply] turned and looked up, and I showed some emotion there,” Clemens said afterward, per The Associated Press. “I was pumped, especially it being kind of late in the game. A three-run homer was crucial for the team. It was just awesome.”
Clemens entered the game batting .125 and hadn't appeared in Detroit's previous four games. The son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens is now 5-for-36 (.139) with two extra-base hits and five RBIs in 16 career MLB games.
“It’s a big moment for him,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said of Clemens, per The AP. “He’s been grinding and never had a bad attitude even though he hasn’t been playing a lot. He waits his turn and comes up with a big swing.”
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