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Rangers 5, Tigers 4: Just walk it off, boys

Tigers lose in extra innings nailbiter

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Given the lineup going into today’s game, I don’t think anyone expected the Tigers to fare as well as they actually did. With none of the heavy hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Nicholas Castellanos in the mix, and unknown elements like Pete Kozma and the newly restored Mikie Mahtook taking swings, it seemed likely that veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon was headed for an easy outing against Detroit.

As it turned out, we probably should have made fun of the Tigers so quickly. They kept things neck-and-neck with the Rangers for the whole game, trading the lead from inning to inning, and it took the Rangers into the 10th inning to secure what should have been an “easy” victory.

Some of the best surprises of the game:

  • Mikie Mahtook is already trying to prove he deserves to stay in the majors, starting the game with a triple, then getting a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to score Kozma.
  • Speaking of Pete Kozma... what the heck, y’all? Two hits, two runs, and an RBI. No one saw that coming.
  • JaCoby Jones and Niko Goodrum both collected two hits and one run apiece.

All in all, it really wasn’t a bad game. In fact, if Nomar Mazara had been taken out of the Rangers lineup, the whole game might have skewed very differently. Mazara scored the game-tying home run in the seventh, and then the game-winning walk-off home run in the tenth. Earlier in the game he scored on a Beltre single, as well. No Mazara, no Rangers win.

Francisco Liriano had one of his roughest starts to date, with a final line of 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K with 81 pitches. The bullpen managed to run the gamut of success and... not success. Blaine Hardy, who is schedule to start for the Tigers on Sunday, pitched for two innings, and was clean with the exception of two walks, but allowed no runs. Positive foreshadowing, one hopes. Johnny Barbato continued the walk trend, allowing one, but again no runs. Stumpf have up a home run and was yanked, and Joe Jimenez replaced him, proved he wan’t broken, and struck out three. Warwick Saupold came on to close and allowed the game-winning home run to score, so yeah, that happened.

All said, though, it wasn’t the runaway loss a lot of people were expecting, and paints the young Tigers squad in an overall positive light.