PHOENIX (AP) — Kody Clemens hit his first major league home run to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
The 26-year-old son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning off Arizona reliever Joe Mantiply to break a 3-3 tie.
Clemens called his home run an “amazing” moment.
“It was great,” he said. “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 he (Mantiply) turned and looked up, and I showed some emotion there. 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 came into the game hitting .125 and hadn’t played since June 19. He was 1 for 5 against left-handed pitching before homering off Mantiply. It was the first home run Mantiply has allowed to a left-handed hitter in his career.
“It’s a big moment for him,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said of Clemens. “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.”
Clemens said he has been standing in bullpens every day over the last week trying to emulate at-bats.
“I’ve been working my (butt) off trying to do everything I can to be in the lineup and help the team win,” he said. “It’s great to see it pay off.”
Tyler Alexander (1-3) got the win for Detroit with two innings of scoreless relief. Mantiply (0-1) took the loss, allowing three earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. It was the Diamondbacks’ fifth straight defeat and dropped Arizona to a season-low nine games under .500.
Harold Castro and Robbie Grossman led off the sixth inning with…