For six innings, this was a back and forth affair with both sides putting up plenty of offense. The Rangers bullpen was able to slam the door, whereas a fairly taxed Tigers’ pen continued to leak runs as Texas pulled away in the late innings to win 10-6 on Tuesday.
Alex Faedo got the start, and he and his opposite number, veteran lefty Martin Perez, each tossed a quick 1-2-3 first inning. In the second, Faedo punched out Adolis Garcia for his second strikeout to open the inning. However, doubles from Josh Jung and Jonah Heim produced a run. Fortunately, a rocket from Robbie Grossman went right to Spencer Torkelson at first for a line out. Faedo got Travis Jankowski to fly out to the end the inning.
Behind a run, the Tigers epic run of plate discipline engaged in the bottom half of the inning. Torkelson, and left fielder Eric Haase, drew walks to open the inning. Jonathan Schoop grounded into a would-be double play, but fortunately, Rangers’ second baseman Marcus Semien dropped the transfer and they only got the out at second base as Torkelson moved to third. Miguel Cabrera did his job, lifting a fly ball to right field that allowed Torkelson to tag and score, and we were tied up again at a run apiece.
A Schoop throwing error with one-out in the third made everyone a bit nervous with Corey Seager at the dish, but the Rangers shortstop lined out to Riley Greene in center field. However, Greene winced as he hauled the ball in, and he was lifted the next half inning as Andy Ibáñez entered the game. Faedo got Nathaniel Lowe to strike out to end the inning.
The official announcement on Greene was lower leg discomfort. I’ll leave that for you to parse. Doesn’t seem serious just yet, but hard to know if that means a knee, an ankle, or a cramp. Hopefully the latter on one of the first really warm days of the season.
Jake Rogers has gone ice cold over the past two weeks, so it was good to see him open the bottom of the third with a solo shot to left to give the Tigers the lead. Perez fell behind him 2-0, freeing Rogers up for a hack that produced the desired result.
Zack Short, who took over for Riley Greene in center field with Ibáñez entering the game defensively at second base, followed with a single, though he was erased on a ground ball off the bat of Javier Báez. The Tigers’ shortstop hoofed it down the first base line to avoid the double play. He then kicked it into high gear again to score from first on a Torkelson double down the line in left. 3-1 Tigers.
The Rangers got one back in the top of the fourth, as Garcia and Jung started the inning with back-to-back singles. A Heim ground out allowed the speedy Garcia to score, and it was 3-2. Robbie Grossman drew the Rangers’ first free pass as Faedo had him down 0-2 and then got wild to miss with four straight. Jankowski took advantage and pulled a ground ball for a double into the right field corner. Jung and Grossman scored, making it 4-3 Rangers. Not great, though Jankowski got caught trying to stretch his double into a triple and was tagged out at third. Faedo struck out Leody Taveras to end the inning, but the Tigers were going to be hard pressed to win a high scoring game against the high-powered Rangers’ offense.
They did a good job bouncing right back in the bottom half of the fourth. With one out, Miguel Cabrera lined a single to right field. Tyler Nevin made a bid, flying out to the right field wall, but Garcia hauled it in without issue. Rogers followed with a walk, and Zack Short pulled a sharp single off the tip of Corey Seager’s glove into left field. Cabrera rambled home just barely ahead of the tag after an off target throw from Jankowski, and we were tied at 4-4.
That score didn’t last long either. Semien doubled to right field to start the fifth and moved to third on a Seager ground out to second base. Lowe singled through the left side, and Semien scored to make it 5-4.
Faedo wasn’t really so terrible in this one. There were quite a few hard hit balls, but he didn’t give up the long ball and only issued one free pass. The Rangers just had his number enough to take what was given, spraying line drives around that got up the lines for doubles and doing a good job of situational hitting themselves. Overall a bad start from Faedo, but probably not as bad as it looks on the scorecard. Either way, Hinch had seen enough, turning it over to Jose Cisnero.
That didn’t go well either. Garcia singled Lowe to third, and then stole second. Cisnero froze Jung for strike three, but Hein ripped a single to right field that scored Lowe and Garcia both and broke the game open a bit. Grossman grounded out to end the inning, but it was now 7-4 Rangers.
The Tigers remained scrappy, however. Ibáñez led off the bottom half of the fifth with a fly ball to left that carried the wall for his second of the year. 7-5 Rangers. Torkelson and Haase grounded out, but Schoop drew a walk. That brought Cabrera back to the dish, and presumably thinking, “oh, so what, you need me now?” The big man ripped a double to left field and Schoop booked it all the way around from first to score. 7-6 Rangers.
That knocked Perez out of the game in favor of side-arming right-hander Grant Anderson. Hinch countered by pinch-hitting Zach McKinstry for Nevin, but McKinstry struck out to end the inning.
Tyler Holton took over in the sixth and walked Jankowski to start the inning. He bounced back to strike out Taveras and got a pair of ground ball outs from the dynamic duo of Semien and Seager. Anderson struck out the side against the Tigers in the bottom half.
One scoreless inning at a time was the rule in this one, and so the Rangers got to work on Holton in the seventh. Garcia singled with one out and took second on a wild pitch. Holton locked into a eight-pitch battle with a very dangerous Josh Jung, and the eighth pitch, a cutter down and in but in the strike zone, was crushed to left for a two-run shot to make it 9-6. This Rangers’ offense is tough.
Nick Maton pinch-hit for Ibáñez to lead off the bottom of the seventh, ripping a line drive to Taveras in center field for the first out of the inning. Anderson continued to dominate from there, striking out Torkelson and Haase.
Braden Bristo, just recalled from Toledo after the Tigers claimed him early in May from the Tampa Bay Rays, made his debut with the Tigers in the top of the eighth. Taveras lined out to Maton at second, and Bristo showed off his breaking ball a bit, getting Semien and Seager to weakly put the ball in play for outs.
A one-out single from Cabrera in the bottom half finally knocked Anderson from the game. The fans gave Cabrera a nice round of applause as the single moved him ahead of Ken Griffey Jr. for 15th on the all-time total bases list. He went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored on a rare strong day from the future Hall of Famer.
However, McKinstry grounded out, and home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak decided to ring up Jake Rogers no matter where lefty reliever Cole Ragans threw it.
No use complaining, but it was like this for the Tigers most of the night and the favor was not returned with Texas at the plate.
Bristo allowed singles to Lowe and Garcia to open the ninth. Josh Jung grounded out, and they walked Heim to load the bases. Grossman popped out, but Jankowski reached on a Báez throwing error and it was 10-6 Rangers. That was all she wrote. The Tigers went quietly in the ninth.
They’ll look to salvage a game from the Rangers at 1:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday.