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Cleveland Guardians frustrate Detroit Tigers on Wednesday, 3-2, hours after general manager Al Avila fired

Tigers’ right fielder Victor Reyes misplays a triple hit by the Cleveland Guardians’ Steven Kwan in the first inning Wednesday in Detroit. The ball can be seen at upper left. (AP photo)

By LARRY LAGE

AP Sports Writer

DETROIT — Steven Kwan hit a leadoff triple and scored to help Cleveland Guardians get off to a solid start and beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Wednesday night.

A few hours before the first pitch, the Tigers fired general manager Al Avila to end his seven-year tenure without a postseason appearance.

“Today is another reminder that we haven’t succeeded,” said manager AJ Hinch, whose team is 43-69. “The record reflects where we’re at.”

Cleveland (58-52) started the day tied with Minnesota for first place in the AL Central.

The last-place Tigers, meanwhile, are 16 games back and relegated to playing for pride while the franchise searches for a new general manager.

“It’s the unfortunate reality for any of us,” Detroit catcher Eric Haase said. “Guys can get sent up, sent down, shipped out.”

Aaron Civale started for Cleveland after being on the 15-day injured list with wrist inflammation and retired the first nine batters. Civale gave up two runs and three hits while striking out four over four innings.

Karinchak and five other relievers — including Bryan Shaw (5-2) — combined for five innings of scoreless relief. Emmanuel Clase gave up one hit in the ninth, earning his 26th save.

Karinchak struck out Javier Baez with two on in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, Karinchak struck out Haase and Kerry Carpenter — in his major league debut — to trigger an demonstrative, one-man celebration as the reliever walked toward the dugout.

“That was a tightrope, but he got out it,” manager Terry Francona said. “A lot of bending, but no break.”

Kwan scored in the first inning on Jose Ramirez’s single.

Drew Hutchison (1-6) allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings.

The offensively challenged Tigers scored their only two runs in the fifth on Harold Castro’s single and Haase’s double.

“We had our chances at the end, but we just didn’t come through,” Haase said.

Tigers’ right fielder Victor Reyes misplays a triple hit by the Cleveland Guardians’ Steven Kwan in the first inning Wednesday in Detroit. The ball can be seen at upper left. (AP photo)