The Rangers entered the series with the Tigers having lost three of four games to the Oakland and relinquishing first place in the division to the Athletics.
However, Texas has bounced back and shutout the Tigers 8-0 Wednesday for their second straight victory after losing five of seven. With Oakland’s 8-6, 11-inning loss to the New York Yankees on Wednesday, the Rangers now trail the A’s by a half-game.
Left-hander Mike Bacsik, the 14th starter the Rangers have used this season, allowed four hits over seven innings in his Texas debut Wednesday. Gary Matthews and David Dellucci hit back-to-back doubles, and Dellucci scored on Laynce Nix’s 11th homer of the season.
Ryan Drese will start for Texas in the finale, and is one of the few consistencies the Rangers have had in their rotation this season. He looks to bounce back from a rough outing against Oakland on Saturday.
Drese, the team leader with a 3.62 ERA, entered that game with a three-start winning streak while posting a 1.74 ERA during that span. He gave up four earned runs, five hits and four walks in just 4 1-3 innings of the Rangers’ 9-4 loss.
The 28-year-old right-hander has struggled on the road this season, though. He got his first win away from Ameriquest Field against the Anaheim Angels on July 26. Drese is now 1-4 with a 5.00 ERA in 11 road starts this season.
Detroit has lost three straight, and eight of its last 13.
“Just pretty much a poor performance all the way around,” Detroit manager Allan Trammell said. “I haven’t said that very often, but tonight they just gave a lot more energy than us. They took it to us, and they looked like a team trying to make it into the playoffs. We just weren’t up to the challenge.”