Akil Baddoo, Tigers to test mettle against Rangers

MLB Baseball

Akil Baddoo is settling in nicely at the leadoff spot for the Detroit Tigers.

The 22-year-old rookie outfielder continued to impress on Sunday with two hits, two RBIs and a stolen base in Detroit’s 6-5 win over the Chicago White Sox.

The Tigers will look to build off that momentum on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

Detroit is 29-22 since May 8 and has moved into third place in the American League Central.

Baddoo is making a strong push for AL Rookie of the Year consideration while batting .333 (14-for-42) over his past 11 games.

He could be at the top of the order again Monday against Texas, which dropped two of three against Seattle over the weekend.

Baddoo leads all rookies with 13 steals this season.

“He’s not afraid,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “That’s a great trait to have. He’s very aggressive. But he’s also very smart. He has the best first step on our team and arguably on a lot of teams. His awareness has grown from the beginning of the season until now on what he’s looking for.”

Texas will turn to left-hander Kolby Allard for Monday’s contest.

Allard (2-4, 3.46 ERA) has lost his past two starts, but the California native has pitched well since moving from the bullpen in late May.

The 23-year-old allowed three runs on four hits over six innings in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics. He walked one and struck out five.

Allard, who will face Detroit for the first time, solidified his spot in the Rangers’ rotation with a 22-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his past five outings (28 innings).

Detroit right-hander Wily Peralta (1-1, 3.21) pitched five solid innings against Cleveland on Wednesday for his first major-league win as a starter since April 26, 2017.

The 32-year-old allowed one unearned run on three hits and no walks in the 7-1 victory. He struck out five while throwing 80 pitches.

Peralta signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers in February and was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on June 15. He is 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA in six career games (one start) vs. Texas.

The Rangers have won six of their past nine games and will send right-hander Kyle Gibson and outfielders Joey Gallo and Adolis Garcia to this month’s All-Star Game in Denver.

Gibson leads the American League with a 1.98 ERA, while Gallo and Garcia each have 20 homers.

Texas has been giving an extended look to 27-year-old outfielder Eli White, who has shuffled between Triple-A and the majors this season.

White homered on Saturday and is batting .259 with eight extra-base hits (four doubles, four homers) since being recalled from the minors on June 8.

“We’ve had him for a few years, and we’re now starting to see the talent come out that we’ve all seen and known,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We all love this kid, but to see the talent show up on the field has been pretty cool.”

–Field Level Media

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