ARLINGTON, Texas -- Things just got worse for the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
The Rangers have now lost a season-high eight straight games, their longest slide since 2005.
How it happened: The Tigers took advantage of some wildness from Texas starter Nick Martinez, who didn’t get out of the third inning. The Tigers' biggest hit was a two-run double by Austin Jackson that pushed the Tigers to a 4-0 lead in the third inning. J.D. Martinez’s sacrifice fly out in the fourth upped the lead to 5-0.
It seemed as if the Tigers got tired of scoring, because they took the rest of the night off. Either that or Rangers reliever Scott Baker took control of things, which appeared more likely.
What it means: The Rangers held staff meetings before the game to make sure everybody is on the same page. The Rangers want to keep going with young players and hope they develop over the course of the season. Well, the patience is being tested after this latest loss. The Rangers hit into three double plays, Martinez walked a career-high five and, for the 34,989 in attendance, it was a rather boring evening. The last time the Rangers lost eight in a row was Aug. 8-16, 2005.
More starting pitching woes: Martinez was wonderful in his last start, against the Los Angeles Angels, when he picked up a no-decision while allowing two runs on three hits in seven innings. He left that game trailing 2-1. This time, Martinez failed to get out of the third inning, and his line was pretty bad. He pitched 2⅓ innings, allowed four runs on six hits and walked five. In this three-game set, Rangers starters allowed 14 earned runs.
Somebody did pitch well: Baker, a right-hander, had the best night of anybody for the home team. In 6⅔ innings of work, he gave up two runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts while throwing 84 pitches. Baker’s night was needed for a bullpen that has been worked hard.
What's next: The Rangers on Friday begin a three-game weekend series at home against the Minnesota Twins. Right-hander Nick Tepesch (2-3, 4.38 ERA) goes for the Rangers., who face Kevin Correia (4-8, 5.02) in a 7:05 p.m. CT start.