Streaking Tigers hope to extend Rangers’ slump

MLB Baseball

The Detroit Tigers have come out of the All-Star break playing at a high level. In stark contrast, the Texas Rangers can’t even push a run across the plate.

The teams will meet up again in the second game of a four-game series in Detroit on Tuesday.

In the series opener on Monday, the Tigers clobbered the Rangers 14-0. Detroit’s run total was a season high, and every starter in the lineup had at least one of the Tigers’ 19 hits. The pitching staff posted its third shutout in four games while improving to 4-0 since the break.

Miguel Cabrera and Akil Baddoo were the hitting stars, combining for nine RBIs. Victor Reyes, batting ninth, had four hits and scored three runs.

“We did a lot of things to put pressure on them, kept taking whatever the game gave us and continued to pile on,” Detroit manager AJ Hinch said. “It was a big night for us. I’ve been on both sides of it. This side is a lot more fun.

“We just kept having quality plate appearances, and the pitchers we put in kept putting up zeros.”

The Tigers were coming off a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.

Texas has lost six straight, including all four since the All-Star break. The Rangers were shut out for the third consecutive game, and they have been outscored 51-7 during the six-game slide.

“We got our butts kicked tonight — again,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “I’m embarrassed. I think the entire team should be embarrassed. Got shut out again. This is a time when you’ve got to, to a man, look each other in the eye and say, ‘We have to be better.'”

Eli White’s two-run homer on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays with his team trailing by 10 runs was the only time Texas has scored since the break.

“If you’re not embarrassed, you really don’t belong on the team or on the field,” Woodward said. “If it wasn’t for Eli’s homer in the ninth inning, we’d have been shut out four games in a row. That’s unacceptable.”

Tarik Skubal (5-8, 4.36 ERA) will start on Tuesday for the Tigers. The left-hander was charged with a loss in his last start prior to the All-Star break after going 4-0 with three no-decisions in his previous seven outings.

Skubal allowed five runs, three earned, in six-plus innings at Minnesota on July 8.

The rookie has recorded 105 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings.

He will be opposed Tuesday by Texas right-hander Dane Dunning (3-6, 4.22 ERA). Dunning hasn’t pitched since July 6, when he held the Tigers to one run in five innings. The only hit he yielded was a solo homer by Robbie Grossman.

“The guys were coming back to the dugout (saying they were) having a hard time picking up his pitches, and our swings kind of showed it,” Hinch said.

Dunning has started 17 games but has logged just 79 innings.

The Tigers lost utility player Niko Goodrum (calf) and starting pitcher Jose Urena (groin) to injuries over the weekend. They also will be without catcher Jake Rogers for at least 10 days. He was a late scratch Monday due to right arm soreness and was subsequently placed on the injured list.

Grayson Greiner was called up from Triple-A Toledo to take Rogers’ roster spot, and he struck out as a pinch hitter Monday.

–Field Level Media

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