ARLINGTON, Texas — Javier Báez hit an RBI single in each of the first two innings and Jeimer Candelario connected for a two-run homer against Dallas Keuchel, helping the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 11-2 on Saturday evening.
Eric Haase hit a sacrifice fly ball wide of Keuchel, then added a two-run homer on Detroit’s ninth three-run.
Eduardo Rodriguez (3-3) earned his second straight start since returning to the Tigers after three months out with a ribcage injury and time on the shortlist to deal with family issues. Six days after pitching five scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels in his first league start since May 18, the southpaw limited Texas to one run and six hits in six innings.
“He had to fight a bit. He wasn’t perfectly sharp, maybe he wasn’t at his best, but he did enough to keep us where we were,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “And we kept scoring for him.”
Rangers right fielder Adolis García extended his hitting streak to 23 games, the longest active streak in the majors and the longest in the American League this season. García singled in the sixth and opened the ninth with his 21st home run.
Keuchel (2-8) allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. The 34-year-old southpaw hit one and walked one while throwing 69 of his 96 throws for strikes.
” It was hard. I mean, physically, I felt good. And that was the main part coming,” Keuchel said. “It was a bit like death by a thousand cuts. …Getting weak contacts and things I want to do.
The Rangers signed Keuchel to a minor league contract on July 25, and the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner was 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Round Rock before joining the big league team this weekend. He made starts earlier this season for the Chicago White Sox and Arizona before being released by both teams.
His first start for the Diamondbacks also came against Detroit, which had four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings two months ago. Keuchel and Hinch were together in Houston from 2015-18, including a World Series title in 2017.
“He threw a lot of shots, which he usually does in and around the strike zone. He’s trying to get you kicked out,” Hinch said. “At first he was pumping strikes there. We were quite aggressive with him. …His exit, it was dictated by us continuing to put the pressure on.”
Detroit went ahead to stay in the first when Báez singled Victor Reyes and then scored on a single by Willi Castro. It was 4-1 in the second inning after Reyes had a sacrifice fly and Báez, who had just two RBIs in his previous 16 games, had a field single that led to a run.
Candelario’s 11th homer was a 418-foot drive to center for a 7-1 lead just two batters before Keuchel came out. Candelario, one of Detroit’s eight hitters with multiple hits, also had an RBI defenseman pick at ninth.
THE GARCIA SERIES
Garcia is close to matching the longest hitting streak in MLB by a Cuban-born player. Rafael Palmeiro had a 24-game hitting streak with Baltimore in 1994. The only longer streaks in the majors that season were Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trea Turner (26) and St. Louis’ Paul Goldschmidt (25) . Texas team record 28 in 2000 by Gabe Kapler.
Nathaniel Lowe first started a Texas run with the first of his two singles that pushed his MLB best total to 52 hits in 36 games since the All-Star break. … The Tigers had three sacrifice flies, the first time this season scoring multiple runs on flyball outings. After Reyes and Haase, Zack Short added a fly sack in sixth.
Tigers: RHP Casey Mize, who had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on June 15, was with the team in Arlington. He had an examination with the Rangers team doctor, Dr Keith Meister, who performed the operation.
Right-hander Drew Hutchinson, 1-4 with a 3.90 ERA in his 11 starts for the Tigers after 10 relief appearances, kicks off the Finals. Kohei Arihara is making just his third start for Texas, having gone 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA since being recalled by Triple-A Round Rock.