The Tigers lost three of four games to the Texas Rangers at home in May. But the Tigers would have their revenge when they traveled to Arlington to sweep the Rangers in a 6-0 shutout victory, which extended their winning streak to seven straight games.
Thursday's sweep gives the Tigers a 43-32 record for the season and increases their MLB-best road game winning percentage to .649. Friday also marked the first time the Tigers had swept the Rangers since May 1-3, 2001, over 13 years ago.
After what could be considered his worst start of the season a month ago against the Rangers, Rick Porcello gave a brilliant and dominant performance Thursday night as he picked up his 10th win of the season, holding the Texas Rangers scoreless through nine innings. Only Masahiro Tanaka (11) of the New York Yankees has more wins and Porcello is now tied with Mark Buehrle (10) of the Toronto Blue Jays for second in the majors.
"I had a good sinker," Porcello said. "The humidity helped a lot, actually. The ball was sinking a lot more today. Alex (Avila) did a great job of keeping me intact when I had a couple of runners on and a couple of walks. He calmed me down."
Porcello's 13 groundball outs and the three double plays turned by the Tigers' defense gave the team just what they needed to continue their streaking ways. In return, Porcello graciously held the Rangers to just three hits and three walks. Porcello had a season high six strikeouts and needed just 115 pitches to record his second career complete game, and first shutout of his career.
The Tigers offense, meanwhile, continued to hit well and backed up Porcello with six runs on 12 hits, although no one homered. Thursday snapped a nine-game home run streak the team had been riding and J.D. Martinez's 14-game hitting streak also came to a halt, although he drove in a run with an RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
Rick Porcello: Pitching a complete game shutout will land you on the positive side every single time. He threw 115 pitches and had six strikeouts, a season high.
Miguel Cabrera: Just another day for Cabrera. He finished the night 4-5 with three singles and an RBI double.
Torii Hunter: Redeemed himself after an error in the first inning allowed Elvis Andrus to get to second base. He drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in the first run of the evening.
Austin Jackson: Smoked a two-run RBI single in the third inning, making it 3-0 in favor of the Tigers.
Tigers Offense: Picked up where they left off Wednesday night, putting up five runs in four innings, the first three of which came in the first inning. Hunter, J.D. Martinez and Eugenio Suarez were the only players without a hit by the fifth inning but Hunter and Suarez each drew a walk by that time. Hunter picked up an RBI in the process while Martinez got his 32nd RBI, which also gave the Tigers their league-leading 33rd sacrifice fly of the season.
Bases loaded: Miguel Cabrera spoiled a perfect opportunity for a grand slam when he flew out to center field, which ended the second inning. Hunter joined Cabrera in the third inning when he left the bases loaded, grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Torii Hunter: Charged with his fourth error of the season when he failed to get in front of a line shot and the ball skipped past him, which put Elvis Andrus at second base.
Apparently Choo and Hunter are going to have a derp-off tonight.— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) June 27, 2014
Mario Impemba made his return to FOX Sports Detroit after a case of food poisoning, and there was one thing on his mind. Food. He and Rod Allen spent much of the game searching out and discussing various food options available at the park, tracking unsuspecting fans while they consumed those same said delicacies. Of course, the obligatory silliness ensued.
Cabrera hit a line shot straight up the middle in the sixth inning that hit Rangers relief pitcher Scott Baker on the right side. Texas head athletic trainer Kevin Harmon came out to check on Baker and he remained the game.
Following the game, Hunter informed the media that the Zubaz were officially shut down. Permanently.
The zubaz are done, Torii Hunter said. (Not that you would wear them on a Texas trip in the summer anyway.)— Jason Beck (@beckjason) June 27, 2014
STREAKS AND STATS:
- The Tigers drew four or more walks in a game for the 20th time this season, and Hunter drew just his second walk in 24 games; the last of which occurred back on May 23.
- Miguel Cabrera picked up his 600th career multi-hit game Thursday night, tying him with Magglio Ordonez for 158th in MLB history. Cabrera now has 356 multi-hit games with the Tigers, and is three multi-hit games away from tying Rudy York for 14th in franchise history. Cabrera's RBI double in the eighth inning gave Cabrera his 35th four-hit games in his career, and third of this season.
- With the sacrifice fly by J.D. Martinez in the fourth inning, the Tigers have 33 sacrifice flies for the season, which leads MLB. The Colorado Rockies hold the second best record, with 30.
- In the last seven games, the Tigers starting staff has a 6-1 record with a 1.69 ERA. They have given up just 10 walks while striking out 41 batters in that time.
- Ian Kinsler finished the evening 2-4, which gave him five straight multi-hit games for the fourth time in his career, and the first time since July 23-28, 2008.
- Miguel Cabrera's 64th RBI in the eighth tied him with Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles for the MLB RBI lead.
- Rick Porcello is the third MLB pitcher since 1900 to win 10 or more games in each of his first six seasons prior to turning 26 years old. The other two pitchers to win 10 or more games in their first six seasons before their 26th birthday were Bert Blyleven and Dennis Eckersley.
It's easy to keep the Tigers from sweeping you in your own ballpark. Tell 'em, Wash! pic.twitter.com/IXnXmZyX40
— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) June 27, 2014
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