Detroit 4, Texas 11 (box)
The Tigers raced out to a 4-1 lead, but the Rangers scored the next ten runs to wallop Detroit in the first of a two-game series last night.
Jeremy Bonderman was shaky throughout his start in Arlington and the Tigers failed to capitalize on too many scoring chances. Texas made sure when they had opportunities, they cashed them in.
The Tigers built their lead against Derek Holland in large part thanks to a pair of costly errors, one each by Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz. With two on and no one out in the third, Miguel Cabrera popped up to short right, but Kinsler couldn’t make the catch, resulting in a bases loaded situation. The Tigers would score twice in the inning. In the fourth, Ramon Santiago sent a long fly ball to deep right, but the wind played tricks with that one too and Cruz saw the ball glance off his glove for a two-base error. Santiago would later score the final Tigers run.
Texas got back into the game in the fourth when Bonderman served up a solo homer to David Murphy that appeared to have hooked foul. Umpires reviewed the play, but were unable to find enough evidence to overturn the home run call and the game was 4-2. After that, Bonderman fell apart. After a lengthy review delay, Bonderman’s first pitch hit Vladimir Guerrero in the arm. Two batters later, the Rangers drew a run closer on a run-scoring single by Mitch Moreland. After another walk loaded the bases, Bonderman should have escaped without further damage, but Brandon Inge booted a routine chopper and the Rangers had tied the score.
The Tigers had a golden opportunity to regain the lead in the fifth, loading the bases with one out against reliever Dustin Nippert. Nippert battled back and struck out both Ramon Santiago and Austin Jackson to strand the sacks full. It was all Texas after that.
With one out in the sixth, Robbie Weinhardt was summoned from the Tigers bullpen. Back-to-back singles greeted him and an error by Will Rhymes allowed the fifth Rangers run. After retiring Guerrero for the second out, Weinhardt served up run-scoring hits to Cruz and then Kinsler before finally getting out of the frame.
Texas would add four more against Eddie Bonine in the seventh, loading the bases on three singles, the last two via bunt, before Michael Young cleared the bags with a double. Guerrero’s sacrifice fly brought home Young for the final run of the game.
This game showed why the Tigers are under .500 and the Rangers are in first place. Neither starting pitcher was very good and both were hurt a bit by their defense. Texas took advantage of the Tigers bullpen and of every scoring chance they were given. Detroit failed to score against the Rangers bullpen despite having a runner at third and one out twice.
These two teams will lock horns again tonight with Colby Lewis facing off with Armando Galarraga in the finale. This was to have been Rick Porcello‘s start, but the young right hander was scratched with a finger issue suffered during his last start.
It would be easy to look at the final score and assume that Texas just blew them out, but these two teams are much more evenly matched than that. Had Detroit capitalized on their chances and tightened up their defense, this could very well have been a much different game.
But the Tigers are using a bunch of rookies and the inexperience is playing a bit of a role for Detroit right now. There certainly were bright spots, Casper Wells collected a career-high four hits, but there were also too many mistakes. Such is life when you employ so much youth. The kids will improve.