ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Chris Shelton has five homers in his
first four games, a pace he knows he won't be able to maintain over
the long haul.
For now, he's just trying to keep it going for as long as
"It's a little overwhelming," Shelton said.
Last season it took Shelton 26 games to reach five homers en
route to his career high of 18.
"It's strange for me, power-wise," Shelton said. "It's not
something I'm accustomed to. I'm not going up trying to hit home
runs. I'm just trying to get good pitches to hit and they're going
out of the park. It's surprising."
Tigers starter Mike Maroth (1-0) gave up one run and eight hits
with one walk in 5 1-3 innings. Relievers Jason Grilli, Joel Zumaya
and Fernando Rodney combined to allow one run and three hits over
the final 3 2-3 innings. Rodney worked the ninth for his second
Maroth had been 0-3 against Texas with a 10.35 ERA in four
Marcus Thames matched a career high with three hits for Detroit.
The Tigers have won their first four games and are off to their
best start since 2004. They lead the majors with 16 homers.
"You're happy to be 4-0 but I won't get too excited about it,"
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "In our first four games, our
starting pitchers got wins. That's very unlikely but in this case,
we did. We're pitching and playing defense very well."
Michael Young homered for the Rangers, who have dropped four of
five to begin the season.
John Koronka (0-1) allowed four runs and six hits over five
innings in his Rangers debut. He struck out one and didn't issue a
walk in a 71-pitch outing.
His one regret was the 3-2 pitch to Shelton that wound up in the
seats in left-center.
"I wish I could have had it back," Koronka said. "I made one
mistake that cost us."
Koronka, acquired from the Chicago Cubs last week in a
three-team trade, had been sent to the bullpen by the Cubs in the
spring. But Koronka has been a starter throughout most of his
career and was moved into the fifth slot in the Texas rotation.
With wind gusting around 35 mph, fly balls were a challenge. In
the second, Rangers right fielder Kevin Mench overran Shelton's
wind-blown fly ball that fell in for a double.
Tigers second baseman Curtis Granderson said the wind was
blowing so hard "it was like a helicopter" was hovering over the
Said Leyland: "I've seen it windy, but tonight you could hear
it. It really swirled around and you never knew what to expect. It
was almost like a storm."
Koronka was so convinced the ball would end up in the first-base
stands that he turned to home plate umpire Tim McClelland for a new
ball. But the crowd reaction told him that the ball had blown back
into fair territory.
"I saw the ball blow back, saw (Mench) turn and said to myself,
'Nice wind," Koronka said.
The Rangers took the lead on Young's solo homer in the first,
his first of the season.
Shelton's two-run drive off Koronka in the fourth stretched
Detroit's lead to 4-1.
Detroit loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth and
Magglio Ordonez scored from third on a double play to make it 5-1.
Texas pulled to 5-2 in the seventh on Mark Teixeira's RBI single
Shelton's first four homers of the season were with the
bases empty. ... Rangers manager Buck Showalter is considering
several options for Tuesday night's road start against the Los
Angeles Angels, including Koronka on three days' rest. ...
Knuckeballer R.A. Dickey was originally slotted for Tuesday night's
start, but was sent to the minors on Friday after giving up six
homers to the Tigers on Thursday night. ... RHP Rick Bauer was
brought up from Triple-A Oklahoma before the game and made his
Rangers debut in relief of Koronka, allowing one run and four hits
in three innings. ... Detroit has won six of the last eight
meetings with Texas.