Texas at Detroit

W: J. Verlander (4-2) L: M. Harrison (4-3)
S: F. Rodney (7)
HR: TEX - N. Cruz (8)   DET - R. Raburn (3), W. Ramirez (1), B. Inge (11)

Rangers turn triple play, but Tigers extend winning streak to five

CBSSports.com wire reports

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander struggled for one inning Wednesday night and that wasn't quite enough for the Texas Rangers.

After not allowing a hit for the first four innings, the Detroit Tigers' ace threw 41 pitches in the fifth. Unfortunately for the Rangers, the last one became a bases-loaded groundout by David Murphy, allowing Verlander to escape with the score tied at 1.

Detroit, which hit into a triple play in the fourth inning, scored four times in the sixth, starting with a solo home run by Wilkin Ramirez in his major league debut, and the Tigers went on to a 5-3 victory, their fifth straight.

 Rangers turn triple play

"That fifth inning killed my pitch count, but I think it was the turning point of the game that I got out of it with only one run," Verlander said. "That gave the offense a chance to break it open."

Verlander acknowledged his preparation leading to the fifth was a little rushed after the Rangers brought abruptly ended the bottom of the fourth with their first triple play since 2002.

"I'm usually ready for a team to turn an inning-ending double play, but I didn't even think about them doing that," he said.

Verlander (6-3) gave up one run and walked two to improve to 4-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last five starts. He did fall short of becoming the first pitcher in Tigers history to strike out 10 or more batters in four consecutive starts, finishing with eight.

"There were a lot of positives again tonight," Verlander said. "I was aware of the strikeout record, but I wasn't trying to do anything special. I haven't tried anything special the last three games, and that's how I've gotten double digits."

Matt Harrison (4-3) took the loss, allowing five runs and nine hits in five-plus innings.

Three Detroit relievers finished, with Fernando Rodney pitching the ninth for his seventh save in as many opportunities.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on Ryan Raburn's third homer in the second inning, and they threatened in the fourth when Brandon Inge led off with a double and Raburn walked.

The runners broke on a 1-0 pitch to Gerald Laird and he lined out to second baseman Ian Kinsler, who flipped to Elvis Andrus. The shortstop stepped on the base, doubling off Inge, then tagged Raburn. Kinsler could have turned an unassisted triple play, but said that he didn't realize it in time.

"Elvis was screaming for the ball, so I got it to him before I saw where the runners were," Kinsler said. "Something like that is just complete luck. They've got the hit-and-run on, and he hits a line drive right at me. You can't really plan something like that."

It was the third triple play in the majors this season.

After the Rangers tied the game in the fifth, Ramirez led off the sixth with a 433-foot homer into the shrubs above the fence in center field.

"Before the game, I was wondering how great it would be if I could hit a home run for my first hit, so I couldn't believe it when I did it," said Ramirez, who had struck out in his first two at-bats. "As soon I as hit the ball, I knew it was gone."

Miguel Cabrera followed with a single and Inge made it 4-1 with his 11th homer before the Tigers added a run in the inning on a wild pitch by Jason Jennings. The Rangers cut the deficit to 5-2 in the seventh when Nelson Cruz homered on Brandon Lyon's first pitch.


  • Verlander has struck out 52 batters in 35 1/3 innings over his last five starts.
  • The last Tiger to homer in his major league debut was Reggie Sanders in 1974.
  • Texas OF Josh Hamilton (groin) took batting practice and ran the bases Wednesday, but did not start. He flied out to left as a pinch hitter in the ninth. "We would have had to run for him if he had gotten on, but he's close," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We'll see how he feels tomorrow."
  • Rangers RHP Frank Francisco (biceps) had no discomfort while throwing a simulated game Wednesday.
  • After the game, the Tigers announced that LHP Nate Robertson (back) would be activated from the DL on Thursday and LHP Luke French would be optioned to Triple-A Toledo.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus tags out Ryan Raburn to complete the fifth triple play in Rangers history. (AP)
Shortstop Elvis Andrus tags out Ryan Raburn to complete the fifth triple play in Rangers history. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Verlander
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 2
K 8

B. Inge
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000101 .298
David Murphy, LF3110113 .200
Michael Young, 3B4010021 .346
Hank Blalock, DH4010021 .237
Marlon Byrd, CF4111000 .300
Nelson Cruz, RF4121022 .271
Chris Davis, 1B4000034 .215
Taylor Teagarden, C3011010 .216
   a- Omar Vizquel, PH1000010 .368
Elvis Andrus, SS3010000 .268
   b- Josh Hamilton, PH1000000 .239
a-struck out for Teagarden in the 9th
b-flied out for Andrus in the 9th
3B - Elvis Andrus (4, Lyon)
HR - Nelson Cruz (8, Lyon)
RBI - Marlon Byrd (18), Nelson Cruz (23), Taylor Teagarden (4)
Team LOB - 7
E - Taylor Teagarden (1, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Matt Harrison (L,4-3) 5955233 4.71
Jason Jennings 2100000 2.89
Warner Madrigal 1000010 9.82
WP - Jason Jennings (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Harrison 94-55, Jason Jennings 28-15, Warner Madrigal 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Harrison 5-5, Jason Jennings 4-2
Batters Faced - Matt Harrison 24, Jason Jennings 7, Warner Madrigal 3
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000013 .256
Placido Polanco, 2B4010001 .265
Wilkin Ramirez, DH3111021 .333
   a- Jeff Larish, PH-DH1000000 .256
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4120000 .385
Brandon Inge, 3B4122012 .285
Ryan Raburn, RF2221100 .219
   b- Clete Thomas, PH-RF1000000 .300
Gerald Laird, C4000003 .214
Josh Anderson, LF2010100 .300
Adam Everett, SS3010001 .307
a-grounded out for Ramirez in the 7th
b-lined out for Raburn in the 8th
2B - Brandon Inge (5, Harrison)
HR - Wilkin Ramirez (1, Harrison), Brandon Inge (11, Harrison), Ryan Raburn (3, Harrison)
RBI - Wilkin Ramirez (1), Brandon Inge 2 (29), Ryan Raburn (10)
SB - Josh Anderson 2 (8, 3rd base off Harrison/Teagarden, 3rd base off J. Jennings/Teagarden)
Team LOB - 5
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (W,4-2) 6311280 3.99
Brandon Lyon 1211011 6.88
Joel Zumaya (H,2) 1311020 2.19
Fernando Rodney (S,7) 1000010 3.71
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 114-74, Brandon Lyon 21-14, Joel Zumaya 15-11, Fernando Rodney 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 4-6, Brandon Lyon 1-1, Joel Zumaya 1-0, Fernando Rodney 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 23, Brandon Lyon 5, Joel Zumaya 6, Fernando Rodney 3
Game Information
Attendance - 23417
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Tim Welke