Robbie Ray struggles early, Detroit Tigers drop fourth game in a row 9-2


May 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman

Miguel Cabrera

(24) hits an RBI double in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

This one got out of hand early for the Detroit Tigers, who were never even within striking distance of the visiting Texas Rangers.

The Rangers (23-24) roughed up Robbie Ray and took the opener of the four-game series against the Tigers (27-16) by the score of 9-2. The Rangers scored two in the second inning, three in the third inning and four in the fourth inning to jump out to a 9-0 lead early in the ballgame.

Ray lasted only 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits and walking four batters. The straw that broke the camel’s back was Shin-Soo Choo‘s two-run homer with one out in the top of the fourth inning. Ray would be removed from the game after that and with Rick Porcello ready to take his usual spot back in the rotation, the Tigers can option Ray to Triple-A for further development.

The Tigers have to be pleased with Ray’s first two starts, but teams started to catch on to the 22-year-old’s fastball-changeup combination. Ray was also only able to record one strikeout on the day.

Miguel Cabrera was back at it again despite the loss, going 2-for-4 including an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the home team on the board. Cabrera now has five multi-hit games in his past ten games, which includes three three-hit games in a row. The reigning American League MVP’s batting average has now climbed up to .326 for the 2014 season.

Ian Kinsler picked up a hit to extend his hitting streak to eight games. The second baseman for the Tigers has been very consistent in the month of May so far, along with Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

Austin Jackson, who saw his batting average drop nearly 50 points in the last 10 games, picked up one of the Tigers seven hits on the day. Jackson has been batting in the middle of the order this season but has produced at a lower rate than his career numbers would suggest.

Yu Darvish pitched seven strong innings for the Rangers, allowing just two runs on six hits. Darvish was also able to strikeout six Tigers in the matinee game and sits at an ERA of 2.35 for the season after Wednesday’s win.

Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez had a game to remember, going 4-for-5 with two RBI, helping his team get out to the early 9-0 lead. Alex Rios and Leonys Martin–who replaced Daniel Robertson after a collision in right center field–were the other two Rangers to record multiple hits.

With a short bullpen before yesterday’s slugfest, the Tigers were extremely thin heading into today. Danny Worth came in to pitch the ninth inning for the Tigers, sporting a knuckleball on the first pitch of his outing. Worth had no experience on the mound at any professional level coming into Wednesday and didn’t fare too bad. Worth recorded two strikeouts, while giving up one hit in his one inning pitched against the Rangers.

Game two of the series against the Rangers is set for Friday at Comerica Park in Detroit. Anibal Sanchez is set to take on Scott Baker as the Tigers look to snap their four-game losing streak. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.