Somehow, games in Arlington always seem to feature some messy play from both sides. The Texas Rangers cleaned it up enough to overcome an early deficit and take down the Detroit Tigers 7-6 on Monday night.
Early on, Michael Fulmer looked like he might take this one all the way to the win column. A solo shot from Nomar Mazara in the second inning was the only hit Fulmer allowed through five innings. He touched 97 mph regularly, carving the Rangers up with sliders and changeups. Meanwhile his teammates were building him a 5-1 lead to work with.
With two outs in the third, Leonys Martin doubled. After Jeimer Candelario drew a walk, Nicholas Castellanos singled home Martin, and then Victor Martinez drove them both in with a double to make it 3-1. Martin came to the plate in the fifth and ended Matt Moore’s night with a towering two-run shot to right. Add in a nice diving play early in the this one and Martin was showing out in his old stomping grounds.
With a comfortable lead now in hand, Fulmer should’ve been able to pitch aggressively, but his release got squirrelly at key moments in the sixth, ultimately blowing up a very promising outing. With two on and two outs in the inning, Fulmer had slugger Joey Gallo to deal with after previously punching him out twice in the game. James McCann called for a fastball up, Fulmer missed at the bottom of the zone, and Gallo smoked an RBI double to the wall in right-center. Martin did well to stop Nomar Mazara from coming home on the play, but it was for naught. Isiah Kiner-Falefa roped a double into the left field corner to drive in two, and end Fulmer’s night. Alex Wilson came on and allowed an RBI single before wrapping the inning, and the score was knotted at 5-5.
The Tigers didn’t take long to un-knot it. A leadoff double by JaCoby Jones nearly went to waste, but with two outs, Jose Iglesias lifted a flare down the right field line that was dropped by Mazara. The ball was initially ruled foul, but a smart challenge by the Tigers led to the call being overturned as it was clearly fair. Jones was awarded home plate, and the Tigers once again had the lead.
The bane of the Tigers’ existence—bullpen excluded—their middle infielders, quickly blew it again.
Buck Farmer got a pair of quick outs, before a bobble by Iglesias allowed Delino DeShields to reach first on a fairly routine grounder. Gardenhire turned to Daniel Stumpf to get Shin Soo-Choo, and it should’ve worked. Dixon Machado whiffed on a grounder again while ranging to his left, and the ball rolled all the way out into right field while DeShields turned on the jets and raced around from first to score. Jurickson Profar then smoked a triple up the gap in right-center, scoring Choo to make it 7-6.
The Tigers managed a threat in the eighth but were turned away with a replay assisted double play by the Rangers. Keone Kela, the Rangers closer, allowed a single to James McCann with two outs in the ninth, but Iglesias flew out to right field to end it.
Who was the Tigers player of the game?
This poll is closed
Nicholas Castellanos: 3-4, R, RBI, 2B BB
Leonys Martin: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, 2B, BB
JaCoby Jones: 2-5, R, 2 2B, 3 SO