The Texas Rangers just pulled off a perfect homestand and will try to keep the momentum going on the road when they open a nine-game trip by visiting the Detroit Tigers on Friday. The Rangers are winners of nine in a row while averaging 6.6 runs.
Texas got a three-run homer from Ryan Rua to highlight Thursday's 8-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies and continues to get unexpected contributions from the likes of Rua and Joey Gallo while waiting for slugging third baseman Adrien Beltre (calf) to make his season debut. "We win a couple of games, and I think that momentum carried over and kept carrying over," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus told reporters. "And you keep winning and winning, and you don't want to lose. It's always great when you keep finding a way." Detroit opened its homestand by taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles and is being led by right fielder J.D. Martinez, who is 8-for-16 with five home runs in six games since making his season debut last Friday. Martinez is 0-for-2 in his career against Rangers righty Nick Martinez, who gets the nod on Friday opposite Tigers lefty Daniel Norris.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Texas), FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Nick Martinez (0-2, 5.04 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Daniel Norris (2-2, 4.34)
Martinez is still searching for his first win but turned in a quality start with three runs allowed in six innings against Oakland on Saturday. The Fordham product was reached for a total of 11 runs - 10 earned - and 17 hits in 11 1/3 innings over his previous two starts - both losses. Martinez is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in three career games against Detroit - two starts.
Norris is having some trouble working deep into games due to control issues and walked at least two batters in each of his first seven starts. The 24-year-old allowed two runs and seven hits while walking a pair and striking out four in 5 2/3 innings at the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday without factoring in the decision. Norris started just once previously against Texas and was rocked for six runs - two earned - and five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
1. Tigers DH Victor Martinez (paternity leave) is not expected to play this weekend.
2. Rangers RF Nomar Mazara hit safely in the last eight games and recorded multiple hits in four of the last five.
3. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera (oblique) sat out the last two games and is day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Tigers 6, Rangers 4