Detroit Tigers game score vs. Texas Rangers: Time, TV and radio for series opener

Detroit Free Press

Detroit Tigers (24-38) vs. Texas Rangers (29-33)

When: 7:10 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Comerica Park in Detroit. 

TV: Bally Sports Detroit.

Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1) (Tigers radio affiliates).

First-pitch forecast: Clear, high-80s.

Probable pitchers: Tigers RHP Beau Brieske (1-5, 4.34 ERA) vs. Rangers LHP Martín Perez (4-2, 2.18 ERA).

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• Box score 

Tigers lineup: TBA.

Game notes: Of all the guaranteed money the Rangers handed out over the offseason — more than $570 million over the next decade or so — the most cost-efficient has been the $4 million, for one season, the team is giving left-hander Martin Perez in his second stint in Texas. 

After two mediocre seasons with the Red Sox, Perez has been stellar with the Rangers, posting 60 strikeouts and 18 walks, with just two homers allowed, over 74⅓ innings. That includes a shutout of the Astros on May 20 and four other starts of at least seven innings. He’s coming off his rockiest outing of the year, however, as the White Sox touched him up for 12 hits and two walks en route to seven runs (six earned) over five innings on Saturday. Still, the Tigers’ lineup doesn’t quite compare to the ChiSox’s, as evidenced by the 27-6 pasting handed out by the South Siders the past three games at Comerica Park.

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The Tigers have actually been better against lefties this season — with a .251/.304/.646 slash line — than righties. (That’s not to say they’ve been good against southpaws; that .646 OPS is the second worst against lefties in franchise history, behind only the 1917 squad that ad a .609 OPS.) Really, it’s mostly because they have been so, so very bad against righties: a .211/.269/.580 OPS in 1,626 plate appearances this season. Not only would that be the franchise’s worst-ever OPS vs. righties, it’s not even close, coming in 65 points below 1972’s .645 (the final season before the AL adopted the DH) and 66 below 1942’s .646 (when most talented Tigers hitters were serving in World War II).

Compare those to the league splits of .699 against righties and .711 against lefties and, well, you probably already figured this out: The Tigers are going to struggle at the plate, regardless of what hand the pitcher is using. But there’s hope for tonight, based on a few Tigers’ track records against Perez.

Start with Miguel Cabrera, who’s 4-for-11 — with two doubles — against Perez, though he has drawn seven walks as well, for a, let’s say, solid .611 on-base percentage. Then there’s Robbie Grossman, who had five hits in 19 career at-bats vs. Perez, with a double and two home runs. (In the Tigers’ most recent game against Perez, on Aug. 5, 2021, Grossman homered in the first and was hit by a pitch in the second.) And finally, there’s Victor Reyes — hitting 7-for-17 since his return from the Injured list on Saturday — with five career hits in nine at-bats against Perez, including a triple last year.

The Tigers, meanwhile, send rookie Beau Brieske to the mound for his ninth career start. After several rough outings in May, the 2019 27th-round pick has turned in two sharp starts against mighty offenses, holding the Yankees to two rouns over six innings on June 4 and the Blue Jays scoreless over 5⅔ on Saturday. There’s one big challenge the Rangers present that the Yanks and Jays didn’t: Texas leads the majors in steals (57), well ahead of the No. 2 team (the Cardinals, who entered Wednesday with 47). The prime active culprit is Marcus Semien, who locked up $175 million from the Rangers last November; he has 11 steals while getting caught just once.

Following Thursday night’s game, the Tigers and Rangers meet again on Friday night, followed by a 4:10 start Saturday and a 1:40 p.m. start Sunday. The Tigers then head to Boston for a three-game series from Monday-Wedneday, while the Rangers get a day off before heading home to host the Phillies on Tuesday.

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Contact Ryan Ford at Follow him on Twitter @theford. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.  

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