The Detroit Tigers extended their winning streak to seven games on Thursday night by defeating the Texas Rangers and completing the sweep, 5-0 behind Rick Porcello‘s complete game shutout.
Porcello (10-4, 3.41 ERA) was dealing all night, as the Rangers (35-43) sprayed only three hits and drew three walks while the right-hander struck out six batters on the night. Porcello induced 13 ground balls tonight, something he has done well since his first day as a major league starter.
Miguel Cabrera led the Tigers’ (43-32) offense with his 4-for-5 night with a double, an RBI and a run scored. His 64th RBI of the season came in the top of the eighth inning when he doubled to center field to bring home Ian Kinsler for the sixth and final run of the game.
Kinsler produced another multi-hit game at the top of the lineup for Detroit, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, walk and a run scored. Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos were the other Tigers to pick up multiple hits on Thursday night, as the team totaled 12 hits and knocked Rangers starter Nick Martinez out of the game in the third inning after command issues surfaced thanks in part to five walks.
The Tigers picked up five runs in the first four innings of the game, beginning in the second inning when Torii Hunter picked up the bases loaded walk to give Detroit the 1-0 lead.
With Porcello making quick work of the Rangers’ lineup, the Tigers came back the very next inning and picked up three more runs. Austin Jackson singled on a liner to Rangers left fielder Shin-Soo Choo, bringing home Victor Martinez and Nick Castellanos. Walks by Alex Avila and Eugenio Suarez and a pitching change later, Ian Kinsler roped a bases loaded single to bring home Jackson stretching Detroit’s lead to 4-0.
J.D. Martinez‘s sacrifice fly and Cabrera’s double added two more insurance runs, something Porcello didn’t really need after his spectacular start on Thursday night.
Leonys Martin, Elvis Andrus and Luis Sardinas picked up the only hits for the Rangers in the finale of the series sweep. Texas has been hit with the injury bug in 2014 and are just two games out of last place in the American League West.
The Tigers will stay in the state of Texas for their next series trip, as they travel to Houston to take on the Astros in a three-game series. Justin Verlander (6-7, 4.82 ERA) is set to open the series on Friday against Brad Peacock (2-4, 4.50 ERA). First pitch will be at 8:10 p.m. from Minute Maid Park in Houston