Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Tigers earn split in doubleheader

Verlander tops Rangers in 2nd game


Detroit's Justin Verlander gave up four hits and three walks while striking out eight in six innings.

Associated Press Enlarge

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander pitched six innings without allowing an earned run, and the Detroit Tigers salvaged a split of their doubleheader with Texas, beating the Rangers 3-2 in the nightcap Saturday.

Texas routed the Tigers 10-4 in the first game for its eighth consecutive victory, but Verlander (2-1) held off the powerful Rangers, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out eight. The Rangers managed an unearned run in the fourth, but Detroit answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning against Neftali Feliz (1-1).

Octavio Dotel pitched the seventh for Detroit, Joaquin Benoit allowed a run in the eighth, and Jose Valverde walked two in the ninth but struck out Josh Hamilton to end it, picking up his fourth save.

Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre left with a strained left hamstring after hitting a second-inning double in Saturday's opener. He's not expected to play for the rest of the weekend.

Five days after throwing a 131-pitch complete game in a win at Kansas City, Verlander labored against Texas, throwing his 100th pitch in the fifth inning and reaching 115 before coming out.

He allowed a run on a walk, a passed ball, and two flyouts in the fourth, but that was it. Verlander has now gone at least six innings in his last 46 regular-season starts.

Feliz retired the first 10 hitters he faced with ease, but when he hit Brennan Boesch with a pitch in the fourth, his night turned sour. Feliz walked Prince Fielder with two outs and allowed Delmon Young's RBI single -- Detroit's first hit.

Alex Avila then drew a walk to load the bases, and Ramon Santiago lined a two-run single to left-center field to make it 3-1.

Feliz allowed three runs and three hits in eight innings. He walked four and struck out six.

In the first game, Rick Porcello's promising start to the season came to an abrupt end against the relentless Rangers.

Porcello allowed eight runs in the first inning and the Detroit went on to a 10-4 loss.

Hamilton hit a three-run homer in the first for the Rangers, who have won eight straight. Mike Napoli went deep for a fifth straight game.

The Rangers routed Detroit 10-3 on Thursday night in the first game of a four-game set. After a rainout Friday, they picked up right where they left off, sending 12 men to the plate in the first against Porcello (1-1).

"They're hot and they're aggressive and confident," Porcello said. "It's a tough one to swallow, because I was unable to come up with an answer."

Matt Harrison (3-0) allowed three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six.

Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson homered for the Tigers.

The Rangers improved their major league-best record to 12-2. They've scored 44 runs in their last four games, and this was the first time they allowed more than three during their winning streak.

"These guys are tough, and obviously they're hot," Detroit catcher Gerald Laird said.

Porcello entered his start with a 1.84 ERA. It was 6.32 by the time he left. He allowed nine runs -- eight earned -- and 10 hits before being pulled with nobody out and two on in the second.

"I was the most disappointed one in the ballpark today. I know I can go out there and beat those guys and pitch well against them, and I wasn't able to do it today," Porcello said.

Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus started the game with a single and a walk before Hamilton lifted a towering home run deep into the right-field seats, his sixth of the season.

After a single by Beltre, Michael Young hit a grounder to second baseman Brandon Inge. Beltre held up to avoid running into a tag, Inge threw wildly to first for an error and everybody was safe.

Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single, and with one out, Mitch Moreland's single drove in two more to make it 6-0.

Kinsler added a two-run triple for his second hit of the inning.

Cruz hit another RBI single in the second before Porcello was lifted. After finishing Thursday's game with 19 hits, the Rangers had 14 in the first four innings Saturday and ended up with 17.

Harrison had allowed only one run in 17 innings this season before the fourth, when Jackson connected and Delmon Young hit an RBI double. The Texas left-hander departed with a man on in the eighth, and Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Koji Uehara.

Detroit's Duane Below, who relieved Porcello, pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out four.

Napoli's sixth homer of the year was a solo shot in the ninth.

NOTES: Texas had a chance to set a team record for best 15-game start, but had to settle for matching the 1989 Rangers' mark of 12-3. ... Detroit LHP Daniel Schlereth worked two innings in the opener, then was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers purchased the contract of RHP Thad Weber from Toledo between games. ... Porcello's eight earned runs matched a career worst, and this was the shortest start of his career. ... Beltre hasn't missed a game this season, but he spent time on the disabled list last year with a left hamstring strain and was limited to 124 games in 2011. ... Detroit rookie Drew Smyly (0-0) takes on Texas RHP Colby Lewis (2-0) in the series finale today.

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