Mike Pelfrey looked decent at times, but ultimately had another rough start that did not last more than five innings. The offense managed to score five runs, but the Detroit Tigers came up short, falling to the Texas Rangers 10-5 on Saturday afternoon to lose their fifth straight game.
It looked like Pelfrey was on pace for another disastrous outing from the get-go. On the third pitch of the game, Rougned Odor drove a homer the opposite way, which was followed by Nomar Mazara going back-to-back for a 2-0 Rangers lead. However, Pelfrey was much improved after the first frame, allowing just two hits between the second and fifth innings. He generated a healthy amount of ground balls during this span and was aided by some solid defense, including an excellent play by Jose Iglesias to end the third.
Meanwhile, the Tigers got one run back off A.J. Griffin with two outs in the second inning, after a Jarrod Saltalamacchia walk and misplayed Anthony Gose triple. They then took the lead in the third after an innocent two-out infield single by Miguel Cabrera was followed by walks to Victor Martinez and Justin Upton to load the bases. Nick Castellanos hit a first-pitch single to bring home two and put the Tigers ahead 3-2. In the next frame the offense stretched the lead to three, as Ian Kinsler hit a two-run blast off Texas reliever Anthony Ranaudo, who replaced an injured Griffin.
But after four good innings from Pelfrey, things felt apart in the sixth. A single and double to start the inning preceded an Adrian Beltre home run to right field, tying the game at five and ending Pelfrey's afternoon. Kyle Ryan came on to replace him and gave up a two-run homer to Mitch Moreland, putting the Rangers up 7-5. Things did not get any better in the seventh as Beltre homered again, this time off Justin Wilson, growing the Rangers' lead to four.
The Tigers looked to come back in the eighth, but had their rally ended on a strange play. J.D. Martinez hit a ball straight into the ground at home plate, which was quickly thrown down to second by catcher Bryan Holaday to start a double play. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus came out to briefly argue the play, as both he and Martinez believed the ball went foul, but the Tigers' threat was mitigated.
Mark Lowe pitched the ninth for Detroit and gave up a sacrifice fly, giving the Rangers a 10-5 lead. The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, but could not score any runs, resulting in their fifth-straight loss.
Ian Kinsler: The second baseman went 2-for-4 with a walk and a two-run blast
Nick Castellanos: The kid stays hot with a key two-out knock with the bases loaded in the third
Miguel Cabrera: A somewhat quiet four-hit day for the slugger
Mike Pelfrey: Settled down after two home runs to start the game, but struggled in the sixth inning to finish with a line of 5+ IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 SO, 3 HR
Kyle Ryan and Justin Wilson: Gave up two-run homers in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively
Justin Upton: Went 0-for-3 with three more strikeouts
Jose Iglesias: While sharp defensively, failed to pick up a hit for the third straight game
STREAKS AND STATS:
- The Tigers scored in three consecutive innings for the first time this season
- Ian Kinsler hit his sixth home run of the season, a total that he did not reach until August last year
- Justin Upton raised his American League strikeout lead to 45
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: