They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and the Tigers’ offense took that to heart against the Rangers. Scoring at least six runs in all three games, the Tigers were able to take the series in Sunday’s rubbermatch 9-8. Drew Hutchison earned the win on the hill for Detroit, while Rangers starter Kohei Arihara wasn’t able to get through four innings thanks to great at-bats from the Tigers hitters. The back end of the bullpen nearly blew it, but they were able to hold on to get the win. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say this, but the offense is really kicking on all cylinders right now. We’ll see if that’s more than just bad opposition pitching recently.
The Tigers wasted little time in putting runs on the board. Eric Haase was hit with a pitch on his left arm to lead off the second inning, and Kerry Carpenter followed with an RBI double to the gap in right-center field.
Following Carpenter’s double, Jeimer Candelario stayed hot, hitting his second homer in as many days, this one a two run shot to put Detroit up 3-0.
In the third, they missed a chance to blow the game wide with the bases loaded, but were able to scratch across one run courtesy of a walk to Kody Clemens. In the fourth, following a single by Riley Greene and a double by Victor Reyes, Harold Castro knocked in two runs with a sharp single up the middle. The floodgates were officially open as the Tigers led 6-0.
The bats weren’t done yet. After scoring six runs in each of the last three games, the Tigers were hungry for more. A single by Reyes was wedged in between walks to Greene and Báez with one out in the sixth inning. Harold Castro, who was already responsible for two of the runs on the day, stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and promptly cleared them with a double over Kole Calhoun’s head in left field to put the Tigers up 9-0. Hittin’ Harold tallied a career high five RBIs on Sunday afternoon.
Drew Hutchison himself a nice start against the Rangers. While he wasn’t able to get through six innings, the two runs he allowed gave the offense more than enough room to take care of business. With the Tigers up 9-0, Hutch was through five innings of shut out baseball before allowing back-to-back home runs to Corey Seager and Nathaniel Lowe and a walk to Adolis Garcia to end his day. Hutchison allowed two runs in five and one-third innings before giving way to the bullpen.
Things completely turned in the eighth inning when Alex Lange took over for Andrew Chafin who threw 1.2 scoreless innings following Hutchison. Lange allowed a single to Marcus Semien and then walked Seager. Semien came around to score on a ground out by Adolis Garcia, and then Kole Calhoun followed with a two-run homer to pull the Rangers to within four runs. After going up 9-0, the Rangers had now scored five unanswered runs.
In the ninth, Gregory Soto came on to close out a four-run lead. While many of you had probably switched over to CBS to watch the Lions vs. Steelers preseason football game, Soto was busy punting away a potential series win for the Tigers. Marcus Semien drove in the Rangers sixth run of the game with a double that scored Ezequiel Duran, who walked with one out. Seager followed with his second home run of the day, a blast to center field off a first-pitch fastball to pull the Rangers to within one.
Mercifully, A.J. Hinch would pull Soto after allowing another base runner with one out. Joe Jimenez then came on in a real tight spot to get the final two outs in cool, collected fashion, sealing the deal in what ended up being a fairly stressful afternoon.