'Frustrated' Tigers give up 5 HRs in 5th straight loss

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Justin Wilson walks towards the dugout after giving up a home run in the seventh inning.

Detroit — No sustainability.

The Tigers have swapped a five-game winning streak for a five-game losing streak in the span of 10 days.

The Rangers administered the fifth one Saturday, bashing five home runs and beating the Tigers, 10-5.

BOX SCORE: Rangers 10, Tigers 5

“Obviously, we are all frustrated,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “We are all looking for answers, trying to get hot at the same time. We were able to put some runs on the board, but we couldn’t keep them off the board.

“We are facing some good teams, but we have to find a way to win. That’s what it comes down to.”

Adrian Beltre continues to punish Tigers pitching. He had two home runs and knocked in four runs.

Mike Pelfrey, the Tigers’ beleaguered fourth starter, gave up the fewest home runs of any starting pitcher in the American League last season with 11. On Saturday, he gave up home runs to the first two batters he faced – Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara.

Boos cascaded down from the from the Comerica Park crowd.

“It sucks,” he said. “I don’t know what else to say. This is not what I wanted. This is terrible. I know I am better than this.”

After getting ambushed, he settled down. He started mixing in more split-fingered fastballs and other off-speed pitches, and his sinker began to get ground balls. He retired 15 of 17 hitters through the fifth inning.

And the Tigers’ offense, after being strangled by Cole Hamels on Friday, found some life.

Anthony Gose’s two-out triple in the second scored Saltalamacchia and cut the lead to one.

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With two outs in the third inning, Rangers starter A.J. Griffin gave up an infield hit to Miguel Cabrera and then he walked Victor Martinez and Justin Upton.

American League batting leader Nick Castellanos pounced on the first pitch and singled home two runs to put the Tigers in the lead, 3-2.

Griffin called for the trainer at that point and left the game with shoulder stiffness.

Ian Kinsler extended the lead to 5-2 in the fourth with a two-run home run to left field off Anthony Ranaudo. It was Kinsler’s sixth home run.

“Sometimes you get three out of four facets going well and that other one ends up costing you a game,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “And sometimes none of the facets are working and you still manage to get by. It’s a frustrating game.”

No sustainability.

The Tigers offense stalled and Pelfrey gave back the 5-2 lead in the span of three batters in the sixth. It started with a single by Odor, followed by a Mazara double and capped with an opposite-field three-run homer by Beltre.

“I’m embarrassed,” Pelfrey said. “Those guys gave me a three-run lead in the sixth and I couldn’t hold it. That’s on me.”

Pelfrey got ahead of Beltre with an 0-2 count. After hitting a couple of loud foul balls, Beltre deposited a hanging off-speed pitch into the right-center field seats.

“I threw two fastballs in and he fouled those off,” Pelfrey said. “I was trying to bury (a splitter). Obviously, I didn’t bury it.”

Ausmus on Pelfrey: 'We're spinning our wheels a little bit'

That ended Pelfrey’s day. The bullpen, until this last week, has been a strength. Left-hander Kyle Ryan entered, having allowed just one home run to a left-handed hitter in his young career.

With one out and a man on, he gave up his second – a long blast to left field by Mitch Moreland.

The five-run sixth inning put the Rangers up 7-5.

Beltre provided the insurance, with a two-run homer to left off left-hander Justin Wilson in the seventh.

“The bullpen has been strong,” Ausmus said. “A couple guys had an off day. You can’t really fault them. Everybody’s going to have an off day.”

No sustainability.

The Tigers' offense, which had mustered just eight runs in the previous four games, broke out for five runs and 11 hits.

“We scored five runs and had the lead,” Ausmus said. “That should be enough. You score five, you should be in good shape.”

Cabrera, who was 0-for-13, had four singles, Gose had two hits and got on base three times, and Castellanos produced two more hits. But the Tigers didn’t score in the final four innings.

“Just have to keep grinding,” Saltalamacchia said. “It’s a long season and every game counts. You just keep grinding. You can’t give up, that’s for sure.”

Twitter: @cmccosky