FINAL: RANGERS 12, TIGERS 6
The Tigers were swept out of Texas by the Rangers on Wednesday night in decisive fashion.
Despite an early lead, the game snowballed on the Tigers bullpen after Anibal Sanchez was forced to leave in the third inning with hamstring tightness, and the Tigers lost their fourth in a row, 12-6.
The Tigers were outscored, 28-12, in the the three-game set with the Rangers.
To be fair, Sanchez did give up four runs in less than three innings of work before giving way to Chad Bell.
The Tigers actually had an early lead, as Ian Kinsler homered to leadoff the game and Mikie Mahtook's two-run blast in the third put the Tigers up 4-2.
After that, it was all Texas.
Elvis Andrus went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI, while Nolan Mazara went 3-for-5 with three RBI for the Rangers.
Between the two teams, there was a total of six home runs hit at the bandbox that is Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers outhit the Tigers, 17-11.
The Tigers, now losers of four straight and 10 out of their last 12, have the day off Thursday before welcoming the best team in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to Comerica Park for a weekend series.
That should be fun.
Top 9th: Rangers 12, Tigers 6
Mikie Mahtook drew a leadoff walk and came around to score on a pinch-hit double to left field by Andrew Romine to pull the Tigers within seven at 12-5.
After Dixon Machado and John Hicks struck out swinging, Nick Castellanos was able to plate Romine with a double to center field. 12-6.
James McCann popped out to second to end the game.
Bottom 8th: Rangers 12, Tigers 4
Joey Gallo added the sixth home run of the night to the box score when he drilled a one-out, solo shot off of Shane Greene in the ninth inning to put Texas up 11-4.
Texas would add another tally after Rougned Odor singled and Robinson Chirinos brought him home with a double down the left field line. 12-4.
Brad Ausmus proceeded to lift Greene after his closer threw 20 pitches. Jeff Ferrell loaded the bases with a walk of Shin-Soo Choo but got the hot-hitting Elvis Andrus to strike out swinging to end the inning.
Top 8th: Rangers 10, Tigers 4
New Texas reliever Jhan Marinez hit James McCann in the hand with a pitch. It didn't matter, as the next three Tigers hitters were set down in order.
Alex Presley lined out to right field, Jose Iglesias flew out to shallow right field and Ian Kinsler grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
Bottom 7th: Rangers 10, Tigers 4
Robinson Chirinos drew a one-out walk from Drew VerHagen. Delino DeShields followed with a single through the left side of the infield, and after Shin-Soo Choo flew out to left field, Elvis Andrus notched his fourth RBI of the night with a single to left field that pushed the lead to 10-4.
After a pitching change, Alex Wilson was able to strike out Adrian Beltre to get out of the inning.
Rougned Odor struck out swinging to leadoff the frame.
Top 7th: Rangers 9, Tigers 4
John Hicks was able to work a two-out walk, but Nick Castellanos flew out to center field to end the inning.
Justin Upton struck out swinging and Miguel Cabrera was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single into a double to start the frame.
Bottom 6th: Rangers 9, Tigers 4
Rougned Odor reached on a fielding error by John Hicks to leadoff the sixth, and again he was able to steal second base after being gunned down by James McCann but being saved by Ian Kinsler dropping the ball at the end of the tag. Robinson Chirinos was then hit by a pitch by Joe Jimenez, who then compounded the mistake of hesitating on a Delino DeShields sacrifice bunt and failing to get the runner at first base.
That was the end of the line for the young reliever.
Daniel Stumpf came in out of the bullpen and got Shin-Soo Choo to groundout to first, scoring Odor from third and putting Texas up 7-5.
Out of the bullpen came Drew VerHagen, who gave up a two-run single to Elvis Andrus that pushed the Rangers lead to 8-4.
Andrus proceeded to steal second base, and after Adrian Beltre walked, the hit parade continued as Nolan Mazara singled to center field to make it 9-4.
Joey Gallo grounded out to shortstop and Mike Napoli struck out to mercifully end the inning.
Top 6th: Rangers 5, Tigers 4
Alex Presley notched a one-out single to center field, and after Jose Iglesias popped out, Ian Kinsler followed with a base hit of his own to right field, putting runners on first and second. Mikie Mahtook couldn't take advantage, grounding out to third to end the inning.
Bottom 5th: Rangers 5, Tigers 4
Elvis Andrus hit the third Rangers home run of the night (fifth in the game overall) to leadoff the fifth inning and put Texas up 5-4.
Adrian Beltre fouled out and Nolan Mazara struck out swinging for the first two outs of the frame. Joey Gallo was able to drive a two-out double off the wall in right-center, and with a right-hander in Mike Napoli coming to the dish, that was the end of the line for Chad Bell (56 pitches). Joe Jimenez entered and promptly struck out Napoli to end the inning.
Top 5th: Tigers 4, Rangers 4
Ian Kinsler drew a leadoff walk and was able to steal second base to put the go-ahead run into scoring position. Mikie Mahtook was able to draw a walk from Cole Hamels. Justin Upton flew out to deep center field in the next at-bat, moving the runners up to second and third. Miguel Cabrera was given the intentional pass to load the bases, but John Hicks couldn't cash in, striking out swinging for the second out of the frame. Nick Castellanos flew out to shallow right field to end the threat.
Bottom 4th: Tigers 4, Rangers 4
Robinson Chirinos drew a one-out walk from Chad Bell, who also gave a free pass to Delino DeShields to put Texas in business in the fourth. Fortunately for Bell, Shin-Soo Choo hit a soft line drive back to the pitcher, who was then able to throw out a wandering Chirinos at second for the inning-ending double play.
Rougned Odor struck out swinging to leadoff the frame.
Top 4th: Tigers 4, Rangers 4
James McCann flew out to center field, Alex Presley flew out to left field and Jose Iglesias grounded out to shortstop as the Tigers went down in order in the fourth.
Bottom 3rd: Tigers 4, Rangers 4
Elvis Andrus worked a one-out walk, and Anibal Sanchez was able to get ahead of Adrian Beltre 0-2, but that's when things went sideways, as Beltre blasted a two-run shot to tie the game at 4-4.
By my count, that's four home runs between these two teams in the first three innings.
In the next at-bat against Nomar Mazara, Sanchez injured himself and was forced to leave the game.
Insert: Chad Bell, who gave up a single to Mazara and walked Joey Gallo to put two men on with one out. The reliever was able to bounce back, though, getting Mike Napoli to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Shin-Soo Choo flew out to left field to leadoff the frame.
Top 3rd: Tigers 4, Rangers 2
After issuing a leadoff walk to Ian Kinsler, Mikie Mahtook blasted a two-run shot deep to center field to give the Tigers the lead back at 4-2.
The Mahtook blast went a reported 426 feet.
After Justin Upton grounded out to shortstop, Miguel Cabrera hit a deep shot to the wall in center field that Delino DeShields dropped when he hit the wall, leaving Cabrera at second. The hit party continued with a John Hicks single to left field, putting runners on the corners. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Hicks was picked off trying to steal second. With two outs and a runner on third, Nick Castellanos struck out looking to end the frame.
Bottom 2nd: Tigers 2, Rangers 2
Adrian Beltre dropped a bloop single into right-center to lead things off. Nomar Mazara made a little more noise than that, blasting a two-run shot to right field that bounce violently off the foul pole and tied the game at 2-2.
After Sanchez was able to get the next two outs, Rougned Odor and Robinson Chirinos each notched two-out singles to right field to give Texas runners on the corners. Sanchez was able to minimize the damage by getting Delino DeShields to groundout to third to end the inning.
Top 2nd: Tigers 2, Rangers 0
Nick Castellanos laced a double down the left field fine to leadoff the second. James McCann followed with an RBI single back through the middle of the diamond to plate Castellanos and put the Tigers up 2-0 against the usually dominant Cole Hamels.
Alex Presley followed by grounding into a double play, and Jose Iglesias flew out to center field to end the inning.
Bottom 1st: Tigers 1, Rangers 0
Delino DeShield flew out to right field, Shin-Soo Choo flew out to left field and Elvis Andrus flew out to center field as Anibal Sanchez worked a neat and tidy first frame.
Top 1st: Tigers 1, Rangers 0
Ian Kinsler got the party started on the second pitch of the game by smashing a Cole Hamels offering to left field for a solo home run that puts the Tigers up 1-0.
Mikie Mahtook grounded out to first and Justin Upton struck out swinging in the next two at-bats. Hamels wanted no part of Miguel Cabrera, walking the big man on four pitches. It didn't matter, as John Hicks struck out looking to end the frame.
The Tigers will want to continue to get to Hamels early on, if only because Anibal Sanchez is likely to give up quite a few runs tonight.
TIGERS AT RANGERS
First pitch: 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas
TV/radio: Fox Sports Detroit/97.1 FM
Records: The Tigers are 53-66, fourth place in the American League Central Division, 13 games behind the Cleveland Indians, eight games behind a wild-card spot. The Rangers are 58-60, fourth place in the AL West, 14.5 games behind the Houston Astros, 2.5 games behind a wild-card spot.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Mikie Mahtook, CF
3. Justin Upton, LF
4. Miguel Cabrera, DH
5. John Hicks, 1B
6. Nick Castellanos, 3B
7. James McCann, C
8. Alex Presley, RF
9. Jose Iglesias, SS
SP: Anibal Sanchez, 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: Cole Hamels, LHP