If you don’t think the Texas Rangers aren’t thrilled to be wrapping up a three game series with the Detroit Tigers, all you have to do is look at the season series between these two teams thus far.
Coming into Wednesday night, the Rangers had lost two of three in Detroit and dropped each of the first two games of this series here at Rangers Ballpark.
In Detroit, the series wasn’t really that bad. The two teams were dead even on total runs (eight) but Detroit won back-to-back one run games.
Here in Arlington, it has been a completely different story. The Tigers have treated this ballpark like they were feeling right at home. After an 18-hit barrage on Monday night, the Tigers came right back with 20 hits on Tuesday night and have outscored the Rangers 21-8 coming in to the third game of the series.
Colby Lewis, Monday night’s starter, struggled giving up nine runs. His highest total all season. The following night it was left-hander Matt Harrison‘s turn to struggle — and struggle he did. He lasted just four innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, never able to get himself in a groove.
On Wednesday night, Alexi Ogando took the mound, and the fans in the ballpark and the media in the press box were expecting different results. But when Tigers’ third baseman Don Kelly launched a 1-0 pitch into the right field seats, a collective “here we go again” could be heard throughout the ballpark.
The Rangers young right-hander would settle in, and though he wasn’t hitting his spots, he was still able to battle through hitters and get his team out of the inning. It didn’t hurt that his offense decided to show up on the same night the team fired its hitting coach.
While the first two Ranger runs of the night came on a throwing error by the Tigers, Josh Hamilton would add further damage in the inning with a two-run double down the right field line.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus would add another run on an RBI single to extend the Rangers lead to 5-1 by the fifth inning. An RBI single from Adrian Beltre, as well as his 12th home run of the year, pushed the Rangers lead even further along, and the team was off and running to what was a very convincing 7-1 win on a getaway day.
With four wins in six games played, it would seem like the Tigers have the Rangers number. Call it pitching struggles, call it not being able to score runs at the opportune times, call it what you will.
Detroit has just been better than the defending AL Champions though six games this season, with one more three-game set to play in Detroit in the first part of August.
As for right now, the Tigers can’t get out of town fast enough.