It will provide a nice learning experience from the rookie right-hander's eighth start. Triple Crown winners are especially tough to get out.
Nick Tepesch had a learning experience versus Miguel Cabrera on Friday night.
Tepesch faced Cabrera three times in Friday's 2-1 loss to Detroit and lost to the Tigers third baseman every time. Tepesch allowed Cabrera two singles and a fifth-inning RBI double that gave the Tigers their first run.
"He's a tough hitter," Tepesch said. "That's a really good lineup."
Tepesch didn't have a clean inning. Cabrera was in the middle in three of them. It's not surprising.
Cabrera had a two-out single in the top of the first. Tepesch, a ground ball pitcher, kept the game at 0-all. He picked up his third ground ball to second baseman Leury Garcia in the inning.
Tepesch allowed another single to Cabrera with one out in the third inning but was able to work around an error, getting Victor Martinez to ground out. Tepesch's pitch count was still going up despite holding the Tigers scoreless.
"I didn't really get a quick inning," Tepesch said. "I put too many guys on base."
Cabrera finally came up with a runner on second in the fifth and delivered an RBI double off the left-field fence. Tepesch said he didn't make the pitch he wanted to against Cabrera.
"It was a curveball right down the middle," Tepesch said. "It wasn't a very good pitch."
The bad news is the Tigers scored another run in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Alex Avila for a 2-0 lead. That meant Geovany Soto's home run to start the bottom of the fifth wasn't enough to tie the game.
Tepesch and four relievers who combined on four hitless innings didn't get much help from the Rangers' offense. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Elvis Andrus couldn't deliver with a runner at third and one out in the third inning.
Manager Ron Washington decided it was too early for Andrus, a great bunter, to put down a squeeze play.
"I felt like Elvis would get a ball to the outfield," Washington said. "He didn't."
Nelson Cruz twice had a chance to get the Rangers a pivotal run. He grounded into a double play with runners at first and second and no outs in the fourth inning.
The Rangers had runners at first and third and one out in the eighth inning. Another chance to score a runner from third base with one out. Cruz bounced into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.