Rangers add to Tigers' miserable memories at Globe Life Park

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Texas Rangers' Willie Calhoun, left, gets to third in front of Detroit Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario for a three-run triple during the seventh inning on Sunday.

Arlington, Texas — Good riddance, Globe Life Park. The Tigers won’t much miss you.

Bad enough to lose Game 6 of the 2011 American League Championship Series here, having to watch the Rangers celebrate and move on to the World Series.

Bad enough to finish with an underwhelming 45-67 here over the years, not winning a series since 2014 and getting swept here this weekend after dropping the finale, 9-4, Sunday.

BOX SCORE: Rangers 9, Tigers 4

But to give Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann a bone-chilling flashback to when he took a liner off the side of his face, well, that seemed excessive.

"I actually thought about that as soon as it happened," Zimmermann said.

He took a Jason Kipnis line drive off the side of his head in April 2018 and was back on the mound seven days later. On Sunday, Shin-Soo Choo hit a ball back at him with an exit velocity of 105 mph.

The force of it, and the shock, knocked Zimmermann onto to his butt. The ball caromed off his glove for an infield single. Head athletic trainer Doug Teter sprinted to the mound, but within seconds he was laughing, hard.

"Teter asked me if everything was OK," Zimmermann said. "I said, 'Other than a few things in my pants, everything is fine, all good.'"

Zimmermann did hang a slider to the next batter, Danny Santana, who hit it 400 feet into the stands in right, but that was the only pitch Zimmermann would like back, as he struck out seven over six innings. 

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"That was scary," catcher John Hicks said. "It took me a minute to get my composure back, I can't imagine how it felt for him. You don't like seeing that in the ballgame, at all. Good thing it got his glove and not his head."

Lefty reliever Nick Ramirez won't miss this park, either. 

Ramirez gave up a walk-off home run to left-handed hitting Rougned Odor in the 10th inning Saturday night (after he thought he'd struck him out on the previous pitch). Then Sunday, Ramirez was summoned into a 4-4 game with two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh with three left-handed batters due up.

Ramirez walked Nomar Mazara and then gave up the bases-clearing triple to Willie Calhoun. His last act of the day was to throw a wild pitch, allowing the fourth run of the inning to score.

"You can't walk three guys in an inning and expect to come out unscathed," manager Ron Gardenhire said, noting that the first two walks were on right-hander Jose Cisnero. "We've got to be better than that. Ramirez normally does well. We have a lot of trust in him.

"But he got two strikes on (Mazara) and he walked him. Then the bases loaded and anything can happen."

Ramirez fell behind 2-0 on Calhoun before giving up the triple on a cutter.

"It was 2-0 and I went out to talk to him," Hicks said. "I told him you don't have to be so fine. Just throw a good one to the corner. If he gets it, then we tip our caps. Unfortunately, he got it."

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The Tigers, who lost all six games to the Rangers this season, finish with two wins on this 10-game, 11-day journey. And yes, they will be OK with moving next door into the new Globe Life Field — complete with a retractable roof — next season.

"I felt like we are in every game, honestly," Zimmermann said. "We're pitching well, we're grinding out at-bats. We're getting some hits when we need to and we're scratching out runs. Just things aren't going our way right now.

"We got two outs (in the seventh) and we just couldn't come up with that one key pitch to get that third out and then it just backfires on us." 

The Tigers made three errors on Sunday and walked six — that's too many free bases. But they did hit the ball. Niko Goodrum had a pair of hits including a two-run double. Miguel Cabrera, who had 11 hits on the road trip, had two singles and was on base all five at-bats. 

There will be no time to lick their wounds from this trip, though. With a doubleheader on Tuesday, they are in a stretch where they will be play eight games in seven days. Fresh arms will be needed.

After the game, the Tigers activated starter Spencer Turnbull from the injured list. He will start against the White Sox on Monday, but will be limited to 70 pitches. Reliever Eduardo Jimenez was sent back down and Gardenhire said there will be more moves on Monday.


Twitter: @cmccosky