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Rangers 10, Tigers 2: Someone should have thrown in the towel

Joey Wentz got absolutely mauled by the American League’s best offense, and the Tigers phoned it in at the plate.

Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

This was one to forget. Joey Wentz got absolutely mauled in the first inning, and while Dane Dunning pitched pretty well, this might be the first game all year where the offense just seemed to give up. The at-bats were not very competitive once they were down. We had errors on Zack Short and Javier Báez. We had Miguel Cabrera get tossed for arguing over a checked swing, possibly just trying to fire his team up a bit.

What we didn’t have was much competitive baseball from the Tigers’ side. The Rangers had no trouble thrashing them 10-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the four-game series.

Zach McKinstry led off the game with a single and Andy Ibáñez followed with a deep drive to center field that was hauled in with an over the shoulder catch by Leody Taveras. That was about it as far as the offense was concerned over the first five innings.

Marcus Semien drilled a line drive double to left to open the bottom half. Corey Seager promptly doubled to right field to score Semien. Nathaniel Lowe grounded out and Wentz got another routine ground ball from Adolis Garcia, but Zack Short threw it away. Josh Jung singled in Seager and Jonah Heim followed with a drive that McKinstry was just able to catch backpedaling to the warning track in left. There was a chance for Wentz to escape the jam, but the Rangers were on everything he threw. Ezequiel Duran singled to left to score Garcia, and then Wentz walked Mitch Garver. Leody Taveras singled to right, scoring Jung, and it was 4-0 as the Rangers batted around. Mercifully, Semien flew out to Marisnick in center field to end the first inning.

The Tigers went 1-2-3, and Wentz settled down, mixing in his curveball a little more and locating better overall. He struck out Seager and Garcia in a quick, clean inning, and it looked like Wentz would be able to keep the Tigers in the game. However, the lineup couldn’t do a thing against Dunning, quickly going 1-2-3 again with Wentz barely getting a breather between innings again.

Jung launched his 16th home run to lead off the bottom of the third. Wentz struck out Heim, but then Duran ripped a screaming line drive that just cleared the wall a few feet from the foul pole. 6-0 Rangers. Wentz bounced back to get Garver on a routine fly ball to left. Taveras reached on a ground ball up the middle that Báez failed to squeeze to his forehand, but Wentz got Semien to lift a shallow fly ball to center for the final out of the inning.

Ibáñez grounded out to start the fourth, and Carpenter was frozen from strike three for the second at-bat in a row. Báez worked a full count, but eventually whiffed on a slider away and struck out as well.

Wentz struck out Seager to start the fourth, but then allowed singles to Lowe and Garcia. He was able to rebound, striking out Jung and getting Heim to fly out, but Wentz’s pitch count was already over 80 pitches and he wasn’t long for this game.

The Tigers went in order again in the fifth, with Miguel Cabrera arguing about a checked swing call that didn’t go his way and striking out before being ejected. He appeared to be correct, and by his gesture walking to the dugout seemed to indicate a belief that the umpires were trying to make a late dinner reservation, earning the ire of first base ump Ben May. Cabrera didn’t even realize he’d been tossed until they informed him in the dugout. This was a bad game. The vibes were terrible throughout. The at-bats were worse.

Wentz walked Duran to start the bottom half, but got Garver and Taveras on a fly ball and a pop up before giving way to Garrett Hill, who was just recalled today. Hill got Semien to ground out to end the inning.

The Tigers got a two-out double from McKinstry in the sixth, breaking a string of 17 straight outs for the lineup, but Ibáñez grounded out.

Hill walked Seager to open the bottom of the sixth, but then struck out Lowe. At that point, Adolis Garcia struck again. The outfielder’s 20th home run was launched to right field, making it 8-0. Hill punched out Jung and Duran to end the inning.

The Rangers were substituting at this point, replacing Seager at shortstop with Josh H. Smith. The new shortstop introduced himself with a great play on a hot Carpenter ground ball to open the seventh inning. The Tigers went in order again, with Báez striking out for the third time in this one.

A one-out double by Taveras off of Hill set the Rangers up for an add-on run. Smith came up with two outs and singled the opposite way to score Taveras. 9-0 Rangers. At this point, Hill’s velocity had faded as his pitch count climbed toward 60, but like Wentz, he had to just eat it as the Tigers desperately needed to reset a bullpen that has already thrown 109 innings, second most in baseball, in June.

Hill walked Lowe, and Garcia then smoked a double to right field to score Smith. Obviously Hinch was dead set on getting something out of this game, and the only thing to gain was a day off for his bullpen. However, he wasn’t trying to ruin Hill’s arm either, so at that point Jonathan Schoop came in with two outs in the seventh and retired Jung on a decent 70 mph slider that was drilled to the warning track in center field where Marisnick was able to haul it in.

The Tigers went 1-2-3 again in the eighth.

Schoop retired Sam Huff on a ground ball to Tyler Nevin at first, with Spencer Torkelson getting the night off. Duran then earned some grief from his teammates by getting punched out on three “changeups” from 80 to 85 mph. He watched all three go by for strikes, and presumably home plate umpire Chris Segal felt a little sympathy at this point, giving Schoop just a bit on the outer edge. Schoop hit 87 mph against Leody Taveras after Mitch Garver had singled, and Taveras eventually flew out to center to end the inning. Kudos to Jonathan for having fun with it, throwing hard, and mixing in some breaking balls along the way.

Blessedly, we had finally reached the ninth inning, and Dane Dunning was still on the mound and shy of 100 pitches. He punched out Marisnick for his 10th strikeout in the game, then got McKinstry to ground out. Andy Ibáñez reached on a chopper to third where he beat out Jung’s throw, earning tonight’s Heart and Hustle award. Other than he and McKinstry this was probably the worst collection of AB’s we’ve seen all year.

The best AB of the game for the Tigers then followed, as Kerry Carpenter torched a hanging changeup to right center field for a two-run homer. That was Carpenter’s seventh on the year, and in the process he ruined both Dunning’s shutout as well as his complete game. We appreciate that. 10-2 Rangers.

Yerry Rodriguez took over to get the final out against Jake Rogers. He failed, as Rogers drilled a line drive single to center field, but Haase flew out to center to finally put this one to bed.

The Tigers will have one more chance to split the four-game set on Thursday at 2:05 p.m. ET. Based on the way this one went it would feel pretty good to make that happen.

Colt Keith’s Triple-A debut went very well

The second pitch Tigers’ top prospect Colt Keith saw in his Triple-A debut tonight got crushed an estimated 425 feet for his first home run at his new level. The Hens lost in 10 innings to open the second half of their season, but Keith had three hits and walked twice. That’s a pretty good start. Parker Meadows and Justyn-Henry Malloy each had two hits, with Meadows blasting his 10th home run of the season along the way.