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Rangers 5, Tigers 3: Lackluster effort can’t stop streaking Texas

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Daniel Norris wasn’t any good either

MLB: Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers came into play Friday night hoping to slow down the Texas Rangers — the Rangers pulled into Detroit having won nine games in a row and 11 of their last 15. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as the Tigers couldn’t get anything going and the Rangers made the most of every opportunity. The final score was 5-3 Texas.

Tigers starter Daniel Norris’s evening began with excitement. He made this play for the first out of the top of the first inning:

Norris had a 1-2-3 second but struggled in the third inning, giving up two runs on a single, walk, hit by pitch, walk, and fielder’s choice. He surrendered a long home run to Rangers designated hitter Mike Napoli to lead off the bottom of the fourth before striking out the side to escape the inning with no further damage.

The Tigers finally showed some life in the bottom of the fourth off Rangers starter Nick Martinez after having only two baserunners to that point. Justin Upton hit a sharp double down the right field line with two outs, then Nicholas Castellanos was hit by a pitch in the arm (protected by a guard). James McCann reached base on a throwing error by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, loading the bases, and Andrew Romine capitalized by driving in Upton with a single to right field.

Norris gave up another home run in the sixth, this one of the two-run variety, to Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo (115 mph off the bat) on pitch number 102. Norris was relieved by Anibal Sanchez one extra-base hit later, and Sanchez swiftly ended the inning with a strikeout. The top of the seventh was not hard for Sanchez — the only damage was a base hit to Rangers left fielder Delino DeShields who was caught stealing by McCann for the second out of the inning.

Francisco Rodriguez came in for the top of the ninth and had a good inning. Yes I am serious. The only baserunner he allowed was a walk that was erased via caught stealing to end the ninth. Jose Iglesias hit a single to left field with two outs, Tyler Collins walked on a nine-pitch at bat to follow, and J.D. Martinez reached first base on an infield single that drove in Iglesias. But it wasn’t enough to save the game as the Tigers fell to the Rangers.

ROARS

Anibal Sanchez: Yup. He did well tonight. He pitched 2 13 innings and gave up only one hit, striking out two.

HISSES

Daniel Norris: Same old story — his command was off, despite striking out eight and having two 1-2-3 innings (the second and fifth). He even walked in a run (!) in the third. His final line was 5 23 innings pitched, seven hits, five runs (all earned), two walks, eight strikeouts, and two home runs on 108 pitches (61 strikes).

Tigers offense: They left 10 runners on base and struck out 12 times.

STATS AND INFO

  • This was the first time Alex Avila has batted cleanup in his career, and fourth is the highest he has ever started in a lineup, per Matthew Mowery of the Oakland Press.
  • Daniel Norris’ eight strikeouts ties his season high — he struck out eight on May 1 at home against the Cleveland Indians.