Rangers beat Tigers for 10th straight win
DETROIT -- The Texas Rangers brought some of their home magic with them to Detroit.
The Rangers opened a three-city road trip Friday night by extending their winning streak to 10 games with a 5-3 victory over the Tigers that included home runs by Joey Gallo and Mike Napoli plus five strong innings from starter Nick Martinez.
“There’s a lot of feel good, a lot of energy,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “These guys really played with huge confidence. Coming in against a left-hander, the ability to get to a left-hander is something we haven’t been able to manage thus far this year.”
Texas won all eight games of a just-concluded homestand and now has posted a two-digit winning streak for only the fourth time in franchise history. The Rangers are just 7-12 away from home.
”Given how we’ve played on the road to this point,“ Banister said, ”Any win on the road for us is a positive. We need to gain some traction on the road, play well.
“We made a couple errors, gave up a couple outs on the bases. However got good pitching performances. And the bats showed up. We’ve got to continue that process.”
Martinez (1-2) threw 92 pitches in his five innings, allowing four hits, striking out four and walking just one in his first win in six starts.
Tony Barnette allowed a run in the sixth, but Keone Kela worked two scoreless innings and Matt Bush picked up his fifth save despite allowing an unearned run in the ninth.
Daniel Norris (2-3) struck out eight for the second time this season but failed to reach the seventh for the eighth start of his season. He lasted five innings and allowed five runs, seven hits, including both home runs on 2-0 pitches, and two walks.
”He’s still very young,“ Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Norris. ”Young pitchers tend to go through this, and it can take seasons, where there’s inconsistency in your command, inconsistency in your delivery, inconsistency in your release point.
“Obviously, all those things are related, and it can come and go quickly. The emotion of a game can get to a young pitcher.”
“I‘m worried about losing,” Norris said, who also said he fretted more about giving up a bases-loaded walk than a home run.
The Tigers played without their Nos. 3 and 4 hitters as Miguel Cabrera missed his third straight game because of a sore side and Victor Martinez was excused for weekend paternity leave. Cabrera is expected to return Saturday.
A one-out single off Bush, a two-out walk and a second throwing error of the game by shortstop Elvis Andrus, this one on a single to short by J.D. Martinez, gave Detroit a gift run in the ninth.
James McCann’s sacrifice fly in the sixth for the Tigers made it 5-2. Justin Upton walked leading off and Nick Castellanos singled, with both runners moving up on a wild pitch.
Gallo’s 13th home run was off a 2-0 fastball by Norris and went deep into the lower deck in right with Rougned Odor, who had singled, on base. It boosted the Texas lead to 5-1.
Detroit shaved its deficit to 3-1 on an RBI single to right by Andrew Romine with the bases loaded and two out in the fourth.
Texas upped its lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Napoli led off with his ninth home run of the season, which was just inside the left field foul pole.
The Rangers scored two runs with just one hit in the third, loading the bases with one out on a single, walk and hit batter. The runs came in when Andrus walked and Jonathan Lucroy hit into a forceout at second.
“We had some guys that are supposed to do some damage for us against left-handers -- Mike Napoli, Delino DeShields, Lucroy, Elvis drew a walk,” Banister said. “Those guys are supposed to be able to be the guys against left-handers for us. They didn’t do a lot of damage, but we did enough.”
NOTES: 1B Miguel Cabrera (left side strain) said he hopes to return to Detroit’s lineup Saturday and manager Brad Ausmus said, ”I’d be shocked if he’s not. ... OF Nomar Mazara was out of the starting lineup, manager Jeff Banister said, because he was a little under the weather as much as it was case of giving the left-handed hitter a day off because of Detroit’s LHP Daniel Norris. ... 3B Nick Castellanos was bumped from second to sixth in the Tigers’ lineup, Ausmus said, to “maybe take a little bit of the spotlight off him, see if he can get his stroke back.” The Rangers’ 8-0 homestand marked just the second time in club history it had gone unbeaten in a stretch of eight or more home games.