Rapid Reaction: Tigers 5, Rangers 4
April, 12, 2011
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
DETROIT -- The Rangers fell to the Tigers, 5-4, as Miguel Cabrera drove in the winning run with a ground ball single through the hole between short and third with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth. Rangers are 9-2 on the season. Some quick thoughts:
* The biggest news of the game was Josh Hamilton straining his right shoulder and leaving after the first inning. A recap of Hamilton's first inning:
It was a strange double play that ended the inning. Hamilton, after hitting a triple a few pitches earlier, decided to try to catch the Tigers napping. Adrian Beltre hit a pop up near the Tigers dugout with one out. Catcher Victor Martinez went back along with third baseman Brandon Inge to try to get to it. Pitcher Brad Penny was not covering home for some reason, and Hamilton thought he could score. He slid headfirst and hard into home plate but was tagged out by Martinez, who hustled back to make the play. Hamilton got up and had his arm behind his back as he went to the dugout. Hamilton was taken out with a sprained right shoulder. It's not known how long he might be out.
* Darren O'Day couldn't get through the ninth. He allowed a leadoff single and then ended up walking Austin Jackson and Ryan Raburn to bring up Cabrera with two outs. Cabrera, one of the top hitters in the league, singled to left to win the game for the Tigers. We'll see how O'Day reacts to the tough inning.
* C.J. Wilson had trouble with shutdown innings. The Rangers scored in the first and then the Tigers came right back in the bottom half to tie it. Texas was leading after a run in the sixth, and Wilson gave up two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Wilson didn't have his best stuff Tuesday, but he went 6 2/3 innings and left with his team in the game. He gave up four runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts. But he grinded out there.
* Wilson's curve was a good pitch for him, but his command wasn't consistent. He left a changeup high to Raburn, who crushed it to left for a double and scored the tying run in the sixth. A single by Brennan Boesch gave the Tigers the lead.
* The sixth inning, when the Tigers got the lead, started when Wilson couldn't field a slow roller between the mound and the first-base line. It wasn't the easiest of plays, but one that Wilson, a very good fielder, normally makes. He slipped and Santiago got on base and the inning went from there.
* Beltre's glove continues to help the pitching staff. Inge was swinging away on a 3-0 count with two outs in the sixth and lined one to third, which Beltre snagged to end the inning. He also ended the seventh by grabbing a liner and started the eighth with a catch on a hard-hit ball by Cabrera.
* Texas came back with some solid at-bats in the eighth off former Ranger Joaquin Benoit. Beltre fouled a few pitches off on a 2-2 count and then was hit by a pitch. That put runners at first and second (Michael Young singled with one out in the inning) and brought up Nelson Cruz, who singled to center on a changeup to tie the score.
* The Rangers had some baserunning issues. The most noticeable was Julio Borbon in the seventh. He was at first base with two outs in a one-run game and was picked off by reliever Brayan Villarreal to end the inning. Borbon walked straight to center without looking back at the dugout.
* Young and Cruz had communication issues in the seventh. Casper Wells hit a fly ball down the right-field line. Young appeared to be under it with Cruz chasing, and at the last moment, Young got out of the way and the ball dropped. Wells ended up stranded at third.
* Good two-strike approaches helped the Rangers get a run in the first. Young hit a 1-2 pitch to center for a single and Hamilton hit a 2-2 shot to right for a triple to score Young.
* Mitch Moreland showed smart baserunning, going hard on a ball hit to the gap in left-center. Center fielder Jackson cut the ball off, but Moreland just kept going to second and Jackson couldn't set his feet and make the throw in time. So it was a leadoff double for Moreland in the second. Moreland's hit came on a seven-pitch at-bat. He really has made it a habit of patient at-bats and finding a way to make things happen.
* Ian Kinsler was supposed to get the day off, but had to come in as the DH for Hamilton. The Rangers likely went with Kinsler instead of Napoli because they didn't want to risk losing the DH spot if Torrealba got hurt and Napoli had to go in at catcher.
* The Rangers tried to stay aggressive on bases, but did so at some odd times. With no outs in the fourth, Beltre hit a double to the gap in right-center. Beltre tried to turn it into a triple and was gunned down at third.
* Beltre had a smart at-bat in the sixth. He got behind in the count, but knowing the infield was back with runners at second and third with one out, he hit a high fastball to short to get the RBI. Nothing fancy, but very productive.
* As much as the aggressive play hurt the Rangers early in the game, it helped them get a run to break the tie in the sixth. After Kinsler lined to short with runners at first and second, manager Ron Washington put on the double steal and it worked, putting a runner at third for Beltre, who got him home.
* Pedro Strop came in with two outs in the seventh and got the final out, a soft liner to Beltre. He then came back out and was impressive after allowing a one-out walk in the eighth. Strop got Boesch to strike out on a splitter, and Jhonny Peralta struck out on a 2-2 breaking ball.
* Young had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.