By Catherine Slonksnis and Chris Vannini
Special to MLB.com |
DETROIT -- Five home runs powered the Rangers to a 10-5 win over the Tigers on Saturday at Comerica Park, as Texas clinched a victory in the three-game series.
The Rangers opened the game with solo shots from Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara, and the long balls didn't stop there, as Adrian Beltre added two more in the sixth and seventh innings. Texas starter A.J. Griffin left the game in the third with right shoulder stiffness, but the bullpen picked him up, allowing two runs over the final 6-plus innings.
Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey seemed to get on track after the two opening homers, retiring 14 of the next 16 batters, but the Rangers jumped on him in the sixth with another long ball, knocking him out after five-plus innings and five runs allowed.
"I'm embarrassed," Pelfrey said. "These guys gave me a three-run lead in the sixth inning, and I couldn't hold it. That's on me. I feel terrible."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Starting with a bang: Odor and Mazara hit back-to-back home runs off Pelfrey in the first inning, with Mazara's going an estimated 416 feet at 112 mph, according to Statcast™. It was the first time the Rangers had homered back-to-back this year, and the first time to open a game since Rusty Greer and Randy Velarde homered off Cory Lidle in a 13-1 win on April 13, 2001 at Oakland.
"I don't think we've had more than three [home runs] in any one game, but we know it's in our guys," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We know our guys are going to hit home runs for us. But it was sure nice to see them show up in that quantity." More >
Castellanos comes through: In the third inning, Miguel Cabrera singled with two outs, followed by walks from Victor Martinez and Justin Upton. Nick Castellanos singled to center field to drive in two and turn a one-run deficit into a 3-2 lead. Castellanos entered the day with an AL-leading .371 average and went 2-for-4 with a walk on Saturday.
"It should be enough," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "If you score five runs, you should be in pretty good shape. But unfortunately, the bullpen had a down day."
Tigers strand a pair: Back-to-back walks from Upton and Castellanos to lead off the bottom of the fifth had the Tigers poised to add to their lead. But Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew out to left, Anthony Gose flew out to left in foul territory, and Jose Iglesias struck out, quickly ending the threat. The Rangers would score five in the next frame.
Twice as nice: The Rangers doubled down on the Tigers in the sixth inning by belting two home runs to retake the lead. Beltre hit his first two-run homer, and Mitch Moreland followed with a two-run shot of his own after Ian Desmond had been hit by a pitch.
"Anytime Beltre shows up in a batter's box or baseball field you look for special things to happen. …. He's a special player," Banister said. "[He] does a incredible things. He's monster strong, so when he gets the barrel [of the bat] to it, it's loud."
"It can drive you nuts at times, quite frankly. All types of facets of the game, sometimes three of the four go well, and it's that one other part that costs you a game. Or sometimes none work and you get by. It's a frustrating game." -- Ausmus, on the Tigers' five-game losing streak after a five-game winning streak
MIGGY RETURNS TO FORM
Miguel Cabrera entered Saturday in an 0-for-13 slump, but went 4-for-5. It was his 127th game with at least three hits as a Tiger, tying him with Hank Greenberg for ninth in franchise history.
GRIFFIN EXITS EARLY
Griffin left Saturday's game in the third inning with right shoulder soreness. After allowing a single and back-to-back walks to load the bases, Griffin threw one pitch to Saltalamacchia before catcher Bryan Holaday noticed something amiss. Banister and a trainer checked on Griffin, who was promptly removed from the game and seen shaking his right arm as he left the field. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers:Martin Perez hopes to build off his last start and hand the Rangers a three-game sweep in Detroit in the series finale on Sunday at 12:10 p.m. CT. Perez struggled with his command at times, but his five scoreless innings of four-hit ball against the Blue Jays on Tuesday was by far his best outing of the year.
Tigers:Justin Verlander will take the mound at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday looking to bounce back from a poor outing, when he gave up seven runs in five innings at Cleveland. Verlander is 9-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 16 career starts against the Rangers.