Rodriguez looks to continue his strong hitting against the Tigers as the Texas Rangers try to extend their winning streak to eight games.
Rodriguez has homered in three straight games—two against the Tigers—and has driven in five runs in consecutive wins over Detroit. The All-Star shortstop hit a three-run homer and tripled as Texas won its seventh-straight game, 5-4 over Detroit on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Rodriguez’s first-inning triple was his 1,500th career hit, as he became the youngest to reach that plateau since Robin Yount in 1983.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing in Detroit—I think it is a great baseball town with great fans,” said Rodriguez, who hit the game-winning home run in the 16th inning for Texas in Monday’s 4-2 win.
For his career, Rodriguez is batting .268 (19-for-71) with three home runs in 17 games at Comerica Park. The slugger hit much better at Tiger Stadium, batting .373 with six home runs in 26 games there.
“To be honest, I loved the old stadium so much—I’m not sure why. This is nice, but I was always so comfortable at the old stadium.”
Rodriguez’s power surge has helped Texas match its longest winning streak of the season, set from May 16-23.
Detroit has lost seven straight and 11 of 12, falling a franchise-worst 62 games under .500 at 31-93. The Tigers, 6-26 since the All-Star break, have had six losing streaks of seven or more games this year and need to win five of their next 11 to avoid losing 100 games before Sept. 1.
Detroit will turn to right-hander Nate Cornejo in this game. Cornejo is 5-12 with a 4.71 ERA and has slumped badly of late. The 23-year-old rookie is 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA over his last four starts.
Rodriguez has two singles in two career at bats against the Tigers young hurler.
STANDINGS: Rangers - 4th place, 17 1/2 GB, AL West. Tigers - 5th place, 34 GB, AL Central.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: R.A. Dickey (7-5, 4.91 ERA). Dickey worked the 16th inning on Monday for his first career save. He is 3-0 with a 4.74 ERA over his last three starts. The 28-year-old right-hander yielded three runs and seven hits over six innings in a 7-3 win over Detroit on Wednesday.
TIGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Cornejo (5-12, 4.71 ERA). Cornejo gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings in a 3-1 loss to Anaheim on Friday.
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 5-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow) made his second rehab outing on Monday, retiring all three batters he faced in an Arizona Rookie League game. Zimmerman has not pitched in the majors since undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery on July 30, 2002. … SS Rodriguez leads the AL with 98 runs scored. He’s tied with New York’s Jason Giambi for the AL lead in homers with 35. … 2B Michael Young leads Texas with 160 hits. His previous career high was 150 set last season. Tigers - DH/OF Young has hit only seven of his team-high 24 home runs at Comerica Park. … Detroit is last in the majors with 418 runs scored and a .237 batting average. … The Tigers have allowed 95 runs in the first innings of games this season, and scored 47.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 24-37 on the road; Tigers - 14-44 at home.
INJURIES: Rangers - OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (rib cage, oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL. Tigers - C A.J. Hinch (groin), 15-day DL; INF Eric Munson (thumb), 15-day DL; INF Dean Palmer (shoulder and neck), 60-day DL.