Rapid Reaction: Rangers 9, Tigers 2

May, 22, 2014
May 22
3:39
PM CT
DETROIT -- The Texas Rangers won their second straight game, clubbing the Detroit Tigers 9-2. It was the Tigers' fourth straight loss. A few thoughts:

How it happened: The Rangers jumped on starter Robbie Ray, who gave up seven runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. Texas scored two in the first and added three in the third and four in the fourth to take control. That was plenty for Yu Darvish, who got more efficient as the game progressed and pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits.

What it means: Texas has its first two-game winning streak since May 8-9 (against Colorado and Boston). It's only the second such streak since the club swept the Oakland A's on April 21-23. The Rangers are 7 1/2 games behind the A's, who play at Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Finally, some support: Darvish entered the game with the seventh-lowest run support in the AL at 3.64 runs per game. But by the third inning, his team had scored five runs for him. It was a welcome sight for the ace, who has received no run support in four of his nine starts this season. He's actually had two games of nine and eight runs of support, the only thing keeping that support number over three before Thursday.

New catcher: Darvish was caught by Chris Gimenez, who made his Texas debut Wednesday before catching the club's ace Thursday. He didn't appear to have too much difficulty as Darvish pitched well. Gimenez also contributed at the plate with four hits -- his first four as a Ranger -- and an RBI.

Early runs: One thing this offense has tried to stress this season is scoring early. They were able to do it Thursday, jumping out to a 2-0 lead and quickly extending it to 5-0 by the end of the third inning. The Rangers are now 17-7 when they score first. It matters.

Shin-Soo Choo train: He was supposed to give the club a leadoff man who could get on base. But he's also provided more pop than anyone else in the lineup. Choo hit his second home run in as many days and leads the team with six long balls. He's now batting third with Prince Fielder out.

Darvish tames Tigers (again): Darvish likes pitching against Detroit. He came in with a 4-0 mark and a 3.86 ERA and improved on both, notching his fifth win and dropping his ERA against Detroit to 3.60. Darvish's only trouble came in the sixth, when he allowed four hits, including three doubles, and gave up two runs. But he settled down and got through seven innings. He had three walks and six strikeouts.

Hits all around: Every batter in the Rangers' lineup got on base Thursday and all of them except Mitch Moreland got hits. The Rangers had 13 hits in the game, including four extra-base hits.

Martin plays most of game: It was supposed to be another day off for Leonys Martin, but with Daniel Robertson out of the game after getting hit on the head by Alex Rios' knee in the third, Martin was needed. Martin said his neck felt fine before the game and he made a catch in center that same inning and got a hit to start the fourth.

Dazed Detroit: The Tigers didn't appear ready to play a day game Thursday following the 13-inning loss to the Indians in Cleveland on Wednesday. Detroit didn't look crisp in the field, making errant throws and kicking the ball around. The Tigers were scored with two errors and just didn't look fully into the game.

Infielder pitches: Thanks to a Tigers' bullpen spent from a 13-inning game on Wednesday and a struggling start for Ray on Thursday, infielder Danny Worth had to pitch the ninth. He featured a knuckleball and gave up one hit, but struck out Michael Choice and Martin.

Up next: RHP Scott Baker (0-0, 3.38 ERA) gets his shot in the rotation against RHP Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 2.89 ERA) at 6:08 p.m. CT at Comerica Park. It's the only night game of this four-game series, oddly enough.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 19 77 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182