Saturday, May 24, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 12, Tigers 2
By Richard Durrett
DETROIT -- The Texas Rangers defeated the Detroit Tigers 12-2 on Saturday afternoon. Some quick thoughts:
How it happened: The Rangers jumped on Tigers starter Rick Porcello, pounding 12 hits -- a season high against Porcello -- and scoring seven runs, four of them in the fourth inning. Rougned Odor led the way with five RBIs, and every batter in the lineup had a hit for Texas. Rangers starter Nick Martinez kept the Tigers' lineup from making a comeback with his quality start. Porcello has a 7.68 ERA in seven starts against Texas in his career.
What it means: Texas can win the series with a victory on Sunday. The Rangers are one game under .500 despite all their injuries and gained a game on the Oakland Athletics in the American League West, moving to six games back.
Nice Odor: Odor was the offensive player of the game on Saturday with two triples and five RBIs. He finished 4-for-5 for the game, which included a double and a run scored, and played well defensively. It's a career-high outing for the 20-year-old second baseman, and he became only the second Rangers player to record five RBIs in a game since the start of the 2013 season (Adrian Beltre did it on July 19 at the Baltimore Orioles). Odor also is the first No. 9 hitter with at least two triples and five RBIs in a game in MLB history (since RBI became official in 1920), according to data from ESPN Stats & Information.
Mound presence: Martinez was impressive on Saturday, even wiggling out of a two-out jam in the fifth. He pitched in rhythm and navigated his way through a difficult lineup. He was able to hold the Tigers to one run in the second, picking off Rajai Davis as he tried to steal third. Keeping it a one-run game might have helped Martinez settle down until his offense gave him a ton of support in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Martinez appeared to run out of gas in the sixth, but he got a double play to end the inning, when Nick Castellanos' liner went straight to Odor at second, who tossed to first. It was a quality start for Martinez.
Beltre's belt: Beltre smoked a ball into the left-field seats in the fifth. The home run ties him with Albert Belle for 64th all time at 381 for his career. Beltre is hitting .386 (17-for-44) in his past 11 games, with hits in 10 of those contests.
Terrific trio: The bottom of the Rangers' order powered the offense on Saturday. Through the fourth inning, the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 hitters -- Leonys Martin, Donnie Murphy and Odor -- were 8-for-12 with eight RBIs (including a Murphy two-run HR) and seven runs scored. The three hit for a combined cycle. Martin was back in that group after Rangers manager Ron Washington decided to put him back down in the order and reinsert Shin-Soo Choo at the leadoff spot. Both players had hits in the game at their respective spots.
RISP drought: Elvis Andrus ended his long drought with runners in scoring position, though he didn't drive in a run in the process. Andrus singled off infielder-turned-pitcher Danny Worth in the ninth. He's now 2-for-32 on the season. He was 1-for-3 on Saturday, grounding out with runners on the corners in the third and seventh. The hit in the ninth ended his streak of 29 hitless attempts with runners in scoring position.
Challenges: The Rangers and Tigers were a combined 3-for-3 in challenges on Saturday. The Rangers' lone challenge came on the double play to end the sixth, when initially it was ruled that Mitch Moreland's foot didn't touch the bag before replay showed he got his toe on the bag before Alex Avila's hand.
Sore ankle: Well, it's not a Rangers game without some kind of ailment. Choo came out of the game in the sixth with a sore left ankle. Michael Choice replaced him. Club officials said it was a precautionary move in what was an 8-1 game at that point.
Up next: RHP Colby Lewis (3-3, 5.40 ERA) is on the mound for the Rangers against RHP Justin Verlander (5-3, 3.55 ERA) at 12:08 p.m. CT Sunday on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. It's the final game of this four-game series and the last time the Rangers are in Detroit during the regular season.