Detroit Tigers pick up hits vs. Texas Rangers early, often in 11-2 victory

Detroit Free Press

Rangers starter Dallas Keuchel entered his first start for the franchise, against the Detroit Tigers, averaging 4.8 walks per nine innings this season. On Saturday, he stayed in the strike zone, and the Tigers made him pay.

Each of the first eight hitters in the Detroit lineup had at least one hit off the 2015 AL Cy Young winner, led by Victor Reyes, who doubled twice, and Javier Báez and Harold Castro, who each singled twice. The Tigers’ hit parade culminated in an 11-2 victory at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Then again, the way the Tigers hit Saturday, it really didn’t matter who was on the mound. The run total was the Tigers’ most since hanging 12 runs on the San Diego Padres on July 25, snapping a streak of 29 games with single-digit runs. It’s also just the fifth time the Tigers have scored 10 or more this season — and the second time they’ve done it against the Rangers.

Left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez, meanwhile, cruised after a rocky first inning to allow just one run over six innings in his second start with the Tigers since returning from a three-month absence.

HELP WANTED?Tork coming back to Detroit next month?

FRIDAY’S ACTION:Riley Greene a double short of the cycle in 7-6 loss

The Tigers opened the scoring early, as Reyes sent the second pitch of the at-bat, an 85.3 mph cut fastball, to left for a one-out double. Báez brought Reyes home on the fourth pitch he saw, with a single to center on a 76.7 mph changeup. After a groundout by DH Eric Haase, Willi Castro singled to center to score Báez, and Harold Castro singled to give the Tigers two one. But Jeimer Candelario flew out to center to halt the Tigers’ attack.

The Rangers came right back in the bottom of the inning as Rodriguez issued back-to-back walks to Marcus Semien and Corey Seager — the Rangers’ big offseason acquisitions, totaling $500 million of guaranteed contracts — then allowed a single to Nathaniel Lowe to bring Semien home. That also brought pitching coach Chris Fetter to the mound for a meeting with Rodriguez, who settled down soon after. After Adolis Garcia fouled off two cutters, Rodriguez tossed a sinker inside at Garcia’s knees for a called strike and the first out. A four-seam fastball on the first pitch to Jonah Heim delivered a line drive that Rodriguez leapt up to grab, and then threw to first to double off Seager.

Piling on

The Tigers added two more runs in the top of the second, turning a leadoff single from Tucker Barnhart and a one-out double from Riley Greene into a 4-1 lead, thanks to a sac fly from Reyes and a single to short by Báez.

Reyes delivered his second double to lead off the fifth inning, and the Tigers threatened to bust it open as Báez hammered a sinker from Keuchel the opposite way down the first-base line. But Lowe dove to his left, grabbed the ball and tossed it to Keuchel as the five-time Gold Glover covered first. Still, Reyes advanced to third, and then scored on a sac fly by Haase.

After Harold Castro reached on a soft single to open the sixth, Candelario joined the hit club with a first-pitch homer to center, tying him with Báez for the team lead at 11 and making it 7-1. Candelario’s blast traveled 418 feet, departing with a 103.4 mph exit velocity. (He later added a double in the eighth inning.) Keuchel retired Barnhart, but after a walk to Zack Short — the only Tiger without a hit off him — his day was done, as the Rangers went to right-hander Dennis Santana, who retired Greene and Reyes.

SHAWN WINDSOR:Lions’ adjustments show they have hope; we’re still waiting on the Tigers

E-Rod cruises

After the first inning, Rodriguez scattered five more hits and another walk, helped out by double plays to end the third and sixth innings. The veteran had just one inning without a baserunner, inducing weak contact from Bubba Thomason, Semien and Seager for infield outs in the fifth inning. Rodriguez needed just 78 pitches (48 strikes) in facing 24 batters before righty Will Vest relieved him to open the bottom of the seventh.

Rodriguez was hardly dominant, inducing just two whiffs from the Rangers, but he was precise, especially with his four-seam fastball. He tossed that pitch 38% of the time Saturday, picking up eight called strikes.

Bullpen blasts

Vest was much more commanding, striking out the side in the seventh. He needed just 13 pitches to retire Mark Mathias, Ezequiel Duran — both on called strikes — and Thompson on a foul tip. His four-seamer was effective, too, drawing four called strikes and one whiff in nine uses. Vest was followed by Joe Jimenez in the eighth; the righty gave up a single to Semien to open the inning before getting Seager to ground into the Tigers’ fourth double play turned on the night, Short to Báez to Harold Castro. He then whiffed Lowe on a 3-2 count to end the inning.

In the ninth, Baez drew a leadoff walk and Haase followed with his ninth home run of the season, a two-run shot to left off reliever John Sborz. Willi Castro then doubled and, after a pitching change came around to score on a groundout by Candelario for the Tigers’ 11th run. The Tigers loaded the bases again, but Reyes grounded out to end the Tigers’ carousel around the bags.

Left-hander Daniel Norris came on in the bottom of the ninth, only to allow a leadoff homer to Garcia, his 21st of the season.

Articles You May Like

Detroit Free Press Voice Briefing Friday June 14, 2024
Play Ball Weekend 2024
Talking about Detroit Tigers’ young hitters, volatile offense with Bobby L. Scales II
Senator Mark Huizenga Visits LMCU Ballpark Amid Construction Updates
Clark and McGonigle homer in weekend action, Hao-Yu Lee continues to rage for the SeaWolves

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *