DETROIT--The Tigers came into Saturday's game hitting hot but the tables turned on them during a nationally broadcasted game, and the pitching bug came back to bite another starter. While the Tigers tacked on hits throughout the game, miscues on the base paths spoiled golden opportunities for the Tigers.
Rick Porcello got off to a solid start and allowed just one hit in two innings while striking out three. But he got knocked around by an unending barrage of base hits for the next five innings and finished in less than desirable fashion, allowing a season high eight runs.
Porcello lasted only five and a third innings and threw 99 pitches and too many found the strike zone in all the wrong places. He was bounced around for 12 hits, eight runs (all of which were earned) and two home runs. Porcello struck out five batters but he also walked two and had difficulty with finishing off the side after retiring two.
Corey Knebel made his major league debut in relief for the Tigers and gave up an RBI double in the sixth and a bases-loaded triple in the seventh. It was not the debut that Ausmus and the Tigers were hoping for and after just one inning Knebel was replaced by Phil Coke, having allowed three earned runs on three hits.
Coke relieved Knebel and struck out the first batter he faced and induced a groundout to end the seventh inning. Coke returned to the mound in the eighth inning and began with a swinging strikeout of Mitch Moreland. He gave up a walk and a single but a groundout double play ended that and Coke finished the eighth without allowing a single run to score.
The hits were few for the Tigers through six innings, that is, if you count the ones that were put into play. Andrew Romine continued to hit the ball well with two singles, one in the second and one in the fifth inning. A scorched double by Rajai Davis in the second inning enabled the light-footed Romine to score from first base and put the Tigers on the board first. It would be the only run scored through seven innings.
The seventh inning resulted in back-to-back-to-back singles by Victor Martinez, Austin Jackson and Alex Avila. But Nick Castellanos scorched a 1-0 pitch straight to the Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor and a baserunning mistake by Avila resulted in an inning-ending double play.
The Tigers picked up more hits off the bats of Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez in the eighth inning, and Nick Castellanos walked to load the bases. But Andrew Romine grounded into a 5-4 force out and with Castellanos out at second base, another opportunity ended without a run scoring.
Shortstop Danny Worth made his second appearance in relief and pitched the ninth inning and started out by inducing back-to-back groundouts. But he followed it up with back-to-back doubles and a single to give the Rangers another run which made the score to 12-1 in favor of the Rangers.
Rajai Davis led off the ninth inning with a double and a Ian Kinsler followed up with an RBI single, the first since the second inning. But a force out by Bryan Holaday, a groundout by Don Kelly and a 10-pitch battle by Victor Martinez ended with a swinging strikeout.