May 31, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcherDrew Smyly
(33) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers defeated the Texas Rangers 8-2 to start the 3 game series in Arlington. Drew Smyly finally got some run support and did not disappoint in his start. Smyly had some pitch count problems early in the game, but gave the Tigers 6 innings of 1 run ball in route to his 4th win of the season.
Ian Kinsler got the game started in Texas as he did so many times for the Rangers. Kinsler hit a home run in his first at bat back in Arlington, which put the Tigers up 1-0 in the 1st inning. He celebrated his homer with a wave to the Texas dugout at he went by, laughed as he rounded first, and has a little extra pep in his step the entire way around the base paths. There was not any retribution made in this game, but I would not be surprised if Kinsler was hit by a pitch by the end of this series.
In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Adrian Beltre hit a single to center field for his 2,500th of his career. While at Miguel Cabrera continued his tradition of touching Beltre’s head every chance he gets. Beltre responded with a groin attempt which has Beltre’s response to Cabrera since the Rangers were in Detroit earlier this season. Alex Rios followed with a walk and both were stranded in the inning.
The Tigers’ poor defense struck in the third inning which allowed the Rangers to tie the game. With a man on first and one out, Elvis Andrews hit a ground ball back to Smyly. Smyly threw the ball a little low to Eugenio Suarez who dropped the ball and everyone was safe. The next batter, Shin Soo Choo, hit a ground ball to first and Cabrera got the out at second base, but the Tigers could not complete the double play as Suarez’s throw to Smyly was a little off and Smyly could not find first base. Beltre followed with a single to left which scored David Robertson from third to tie the game at 1-1. Rios grounded out to third to end the inning and limit the damage at one.
The middle innings were filled with more mistakes from the Tigers, but of the base running variety. The Tigers had the leadoff batter reach in the 5th and 6th innings, but Colby Lewis still faced the minimum number of batters in the innings. Austin Jackson was caught stealing 3rd base in the 5th inning. Rajai Davis was caught stealing in the next inning because he did not keep his body on the base during his slide.
The leadoff batter reached once again in the 7th inning with a Victor Martinez double to center field, but he was not erased on a steal attempt. J.D. Martinez continued his hot streak with a home run to dead center field which gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead which was the beginning of an inning in which the Tigers batted around for the second time in two games.
After 5 straight hard hit balls against him going back to a long out made by Cabrera in the 6th, Colby Lewis’s night was done after a long fly ball by Nick Castellanos and line drive single by Austin Jackson.
Lewis’s finals line was 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 K with almost all of that damage coming in the 7th. Ben Rowan came on in relief and could not escape the 7th inning either.
Jackson stole second and was driven in by Alex Avila on a single over the second baseman. Suarez followed that up with a double into the right field corner to put men on 2nd and 3rd. Davis drove in Avila with a single and then proceeded to steal second. Kinsler struck out and Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to close the book on Rowan.
Shawn Tolleson came into the game to face Victor Martinez with the bases loaded and proceeded to walk him to score a run. JD Martinez struck out to end the inning, but the damage was already done. The Tigers scored 5 in the top of the 7th to make it a 6-1 game.
Al Alburquerque came in relief in the 7th inning and he turned in a regular Al Al performance. He gave up a single, hit a batter, and struck out two in a scoreless inning.
The Tigers expanded their lead to 8-1 in the 8th with hits from Avila, Suarez, Davis, and Kinsler who drove home his 2nd and 3rd runs of the night against his former team.
Phil Coke came in for the bottom of the 8th inning with a comfortable lead and he had another very good outing. He gave up one hit to Beltre who was 4-4 on the night, but limited the damage to the one single. An error was made on a double play attempt and Rios reached second on the play, but he did not score.
Chad Smith pitched the 9th inning for the second straight game in a blowout. Smith started his performance by retiring the first two batters, just as he did Sunday against the Cleveland Indians. Smith once again could not get the third out of the inning. After throwing almost all fastballs, the Rangers squared him up and put together a single, double combination, but could not add any more and the final stood at 8-2.
Stats for the night:
- The Tigers had 16 hits which was three short of their season high. Miguel Cabrera was 0-4 on the night.
- Every Tiger struck out in the game except for Victor Martinez.
- Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson both were caught stealing and stole a base in the game.
- JD Martinez extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a home run and a double.
- For the second straight game, the opposing team pulled their pitcher with 2 outs in the 9th inning down by 9 and 7 runs.