FINAL: RANGERS 10, TIGERS 4
Justin Verlander gave up three home runs over during a seven at-bat stretch in the third and fourth innings and that was all the Rangers needed to power their way to a 6-3 victory Tuesday night in Texas.
The loss is the third straight for the hapless Tigers.
Miguel Cabrera returned to the lineup but went 0-for-3 at the dish with a walk.
The rest of the offense didn't show too much punch either, as two of the three runs came on groundouts. Jose Iglesias had two RBI, and one of those came in the second inning on a double that put the Tigers ahead 1-0.
The Tigers cut into the Rangers deficit in the seventh inning, trimming the Texas lead to 5-3.
The Rangers struck back for a run in the seventh on a steal of home plate (yes, a steal of home plate!), and they really put the game away with four runs off of Warwick Saupold in the eighth.
In the ninth, Victor Martinez added a leadoff solo home run to make it 10-4. John Hicks followed with a bloop single to right field, and Alex Presley singled down the left field line. The rally wasn't meant to be, though, as Jose Iglesias struck out swinging, Ian Kinsler flew out to center field and Mikie Mahtook popped out to first to end the game.
A.J. Griffin threw 93 pitches in just five innings for the Rangers but picked up the win.
Verlander's final line: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
Bottom 8th: Rangers 10, Tigers 3
Elvis Andrus drew a leadoff walk from Tigers reliever Warwick Saupold. He came around to score on a double to right-center from Adrian Beltre that puts Texas up 7-3.
After Nomar Mazara struck out looking, the Tigers gave Joey Gallo the intentional free pass to presumably set up the double play. Well, that didn't work too well because Saupold threw a wild pitch that moved the runners up to second and third. Mike Napoli delivered both home with a single to left field that makes it 9-3.
So, of course, with a man now on second and still just one out, the Tigers gave Rougned Odor the free pass. Then it was time for Saupold to issue a walk the old fashioned way, putting Robinson Chirinos on and loading the bases. Saupold bounced back to strike out Delino DeShields, but after Miguel Cabrera couldn't scoop a Jose Iglesias throw at first, the Rangers added another run (10-3), though the inning ended when Odor was thrown out at home.
Top 8th: Rangers 6, Tigers 3
Justin Upton grounded out to shortstop, Miguel Cabrera struck out swinging and Nick Castellanos flew out to right field as the Tigers went down in order.
Bottom 7th: Rangers 6, Tigers 3
Joe Jimenez got the call from the bullpen for the Tigers in the seventh. Things didn't start well, as Jimenez issued a leadoff walk to Rougned Odor, who proceeded to steal second and move up to third on a bad throw from John Hicks. Jimenez bounced back, though, striking out Robinson Chirinos and getting Delino DeShields to fly out to left field before giving way to Daniel Stumpf.
That's when things got interesting.
Odor stole home plate. Yes, he stole home plate. The umpire put a damper on the play by calling a balk on Stumpf, making that the official way the play went down in the scorer's book. Nonetheless, the Rangers pushed their lead to 6-3.
Top 7th: Rangers 5, Tigers 3
Victor Martinez drew a four-pitch walk, and after John Hicks doubled off the wall in left field, Martinez came home to make it a 5-2 ballgame when Alex Presley grounded out to second base.
The Tigers added another tally in the next at-bat when Jose Iglesias grounded out to second to bring home Hicks, who had moved up to third on the Presley groundout. 5-3.
Ian Kinsler was able to notch a two-out single to left field that knocked reliever Tony Barnette out of the game. Matt Bush came out of the Texas bullpen and got Mikie Mahtook to ground out to end the inning.
Bottom 6th: Rangers 5, Tigers 1
Adrian Beltre singled to left field to leadoff the frame, but Justin Verlander was able to dial it in as his pitch count rose into the triple digits, setting the next three down in order to get out of the inning.
Nomar Mazara popped out to shortstop, Joey Gallo struck out looking and Mike Napoli became Verlander's eighth strikeout victim.
At 114 pitches, it's safe to say Verlander's reached the end of the line tonight.
Top 6th: Rangers 5, Tigers 1
Justin Upton flew out to center field, Miguel Cabrera lined out to second and Nick Castellanos struck out as Texas reliever Tony Barnette set the Tigers down in order.
A.J. Griffin left the game after five innings and 93 pitches.
Bottom 5th: Rangers 5, Tigers 1
Delino DeShields lined out to right field, Shin-Soo Choo struck out swinging and Elvis Andrus lined out to center field as Justin Verlander bounced back from a rough fourth inning.
Verlander's thrown 96 pitches through five. He'll probably be back out for the sixth.
Top 5th: Rangers 5, Tigers 1
Jose Iglesias grounded out to third, Ian Kinsler flew out to right field and Mikie Mahtook struck out swinging as the Tigers went down in order in the fifth.
Bottom 4th: Rangers 5, Tigers 1
Elvis Andrus lined a leadoff single to right-center, and after Adrian Beltre grounded out back to the pitcher, moving Andrus up to second, Nomar Mazara singled to center field to stake Texas to a 2-1 lead.
It didn't end there.
Joey Gallo hit his 34th home run of the season to right-center to put the Rangers up 4-1 on Justin Verlander.
Then before I could even update the score on this blog, Mike Napoli hit a bomb of his own to left field to make it 5-1.
Top 4th: Tigers 1, Rangers 1
Victor Martinez beat the shift for a leadoff single to right field, but the Tigers came away with nothing to show for it in the fourth. John Hicks popped out to second and Alex Presley grounded into a double play to end the frame.
Texas starter A.J. Griffin's pitch count is elevated at 80.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 1, Rangers 1
Justin Verlander had faced the minimum when he got to the bottom of the Rangers order and number nine hitter Robinson Chirinos, who ended Verlander's hot start with a BIG blast over the left field wall to tie the game at 1-1.
Delino DeShields followed that with a single to left field. Verlander got out of the inning by striking out Shin-Soo Choo for his fourth punch out of the night.
Mike Napoli struck out swinging and Rougned Odor grounded out to second to start the frame.
Top 3rd: Tigers 1, Rangers 0
Justin Upton dropped a broken bat single into left field to leadoff the inning, but he made the mistake of getting to comfortable at first base as A.J. Griffin picked him off for the first out. Miguel Cabrera struck out looking and Nick Castellanos flew out to center field to end the inning.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 1, Rangers 0
Adrian Beltre flew out to deep center field, Nomar Mazara struck out looking and Joey Gallo went down swinging as Justin Verlander has cruised through the first two frames in Texas.
Top 2nd: Tigers 1, Rangers 0
John Hicks ripped a double to left field with one out, and after Alex Presley struck out swinging, Jose Iglesias was able to drive home the first run on the night with a double to left-center that puts the Tigers up 1-0.
Ian Kinsler was able to stretch the inning with an infield single. He moved up to second on a wild pitch, but Iglesias stayed put at third. Mikie Mahtook grounded out to third to end the threat.
Victor Martinez flew out to left field to leadoff the inning.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 0, Rangers 0
Delino DeShields led off with a single to left field, but Justin Verlander was able to bounce back and get Shin-Soo Choo to ground into a double play. Elvis Andrus lined out to second base to end the frame.
Verlander threw just seven pitches.
Top 1st: Tigers 0, Rangers 0
Justin Upton and Miguel Cabrera both drew two-out walks from Rangers starter A.J. Griffin, but Nick Castellanos struck out swinging to end the threat.
Ian Kinsler fouled out and Mikie Mahtook grounded out to second to start the game.
TIGERS AT RANGERS
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas
TV/radio: FS1/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 53-65, fourth place in the American League Central Division, 12 games behind the Cleveland Indians, and 7.5 games behind a wild-card spot. The Rangers are 57-60, fourth place in the AL West, 14.5 games behind the Astros, and three games behind a wild-card spot.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Mikie Mahtook, CF
3. Justin Upton, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Nick Castellanos,
6. Victor Martinez, DH
7. John Hicks, C
8. Alex Presley, RF
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
SP: Justin Verlander, RHP
1. Delino DeShields, CF
2. Shin-Soo Choo, DH
3. Elvis Andrus, SS
4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
5. Nomar Mazara, RF
6. Joey Gallo, LF
7. Mike Napoli, 1B
8. Rougned Odor, 2B
9. Robinson Chirinos, C
SP: A.J. Griffin, RHP