Rangers Rout Tigers to Avoid Sweep

Rangers Tigers
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rangers 9, Tigers 1

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Jun. 5) — The Texas Rangers were able to save face against the Detroit Tigers by beating them, 9–1, on Wednesday in front of a crowd of 29,748. Home runs by Josh Smith and Jonah Heim allowed the Rangers to avoid the sweep by the Tigers. After an off-day for both teams, the Rangers will welcome the San Francisco Giants to town for three. That series will begin Friday evening with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Logan Webb (4–5, 2.95 ERA) will take the bump for the Giants, and the Rangers will counter with righty Michael Lorenzen (3–3, 2.96 ERA).

The Tigers, meanwhile, will head back to Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan for a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers. That series will also start on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 pm Eastern. The Brewers have yet to announce their starting pitcher for that game, while the Tigers will send right-hander Reese Olson (1–6, 2.48 ERA) to the mound.

Josh Jonah Jacks

The Rangers tallied their first run in the bottom of the second against Tigers reliever Joey Wentz. Their scheduled starter, Kenta Maeda, exited the game in the top of the first with right-side abdominal discomfort. Heim led off the inning with a single to left. A fielder’s choice put Travis Jankowski on first. He stole second moments later. After a groundout to short by Leody Taveras, Marcus Semien drew a walk. Due up was Corey Seager, who singled to left. The base hit extended his on-base streak to 28 straight games. Ezequiel Duran came in as a pinch-runner for Seager, who was later diagnosed with left hamstring tightness and will continue to be evaluated. With Smith batting, Duran was caught stealing second to end the inning.

Rangers Pile On

Smith led off the bottom of the third with his fourth homer of the year, a solo shot to right, to give the Rangers a 2–0 lead. Four batters later, Heim joined in with a two-run shot to right off Tigers reliever Mason Englert. Nathaniel Lowe, who singled to right earlier in the frame, was the man on base at the time.

The Tigers cracked the run column in the top of the sixth against Rangers starter Jose UrenaTigers designated hitter Justyn-Henry Malloy got them on the board as he crossed first career hit and first career home run off his to-do list with one swing that sent the ball to the seats in left-center.

The Rangers scored two more in the bottom of the sixth. Heim reached second with a double to right. Two batters later, Englert intentionally walked Semien. On deck was Duran, who reached on a fielding error by second baseman Colt Keith, plating Heim. Semien scored soon after thanks to a sharp single to center by Smith. They added two more in the bottom of the eighth with Andrew Chafin on the mound for the Tigers. Taveras drew a free pass to lead things off. Semien moved him to second with a single to center. Duran drove in Taveras with another single to center. Up next was Smith, who sprinted to first on a fielder’s choice. This allowed Semien to cross the dish. A throwing error by first baseman Mark Canha put Duran on second. Moments after Adolis Garcia struck out swinging, Lowe scored Duran with a single to center.

What Went Right for the Rangers

An outpouring of offense like this was bound to happen sooner or later for the Rangers. Those that were in the ballpark could sense how frustrated they’ve been the previous two games against the Tigers, having only scored two runs in the series up until Wednesday. The homers by Smith and Heim provided an extra boost to this floundering lineup that looks to be turning the corner.

What Went Wrong for the Rangers

The only hiccup the Rangers had was the solo home run by Malloy in the sixth. Considering how things have been lately, the Rangers seemed content with surrendering the lone run.

Another Good Outing for Urena

Rangers starter Jose Urena earned his second win of the season after allowing one hit over a season-high 6 2/3 innings in his sixth start of 2024. His final line for the evening was 6 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 97 pitches/58 strikes. Urena retired the first 15 batters he faced in order before allowing the solo dinger to Malloy in the top of the sixth. His record for 2024 now stands at 2–5 with an ERA of 3.44.

Discomfort for Maeda

On the night of his 200th career start, Tigers starter Kenta Maeda exited with right side abdominal discomfort after throwing two pitches, resulting in a 1–1 count to Semien. The two pitches thrown were the fewest in any start in his career, and fewest by any starting pitcher in the majors since Miami Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez on July 2, 2021 against the Atlanta Braves. Lopez was ejected after hitting Ronald Acuña Jr. with his first pitch of the game. Maeda did not record an out in Wednesday’s outing, becoming the first Tigers starting pitcher that failed to retire a single batter since Michael Fulmer on September 15, 2018 against the then-Cleveland Indians. After tossing 2 2/3 innings, Wentz took the loss for the Tigers. He owns a record of 0–1 with an ERA of 6.31.

Postgame Comments

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was in good spirits after the game when he held court in the interview room. The thing he really focused on was the status of Corey Seager. “We’re just being cautious there,” Bochy said. “We’ll see where we’re at after the day off [on Thursday]. We don’t think it’s anything serious, but we just wanted to get him off his legs. Come Friday, we’ll see where we’re at with Corey. He might need another day. We don’t know yet.”


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