The Texas Rangers showed signs of breaking out of their surprising offensive slump in their latest game, but suffered yet another defeat.
Losing for the 10th time in 12 games, though, was hardly the worst thing to happen to the Rangers on Monday.
Kinsler made his first All-Star team in 2008, and had a major league-leading 165 hits and 102 runs scored as of Monday, when the Rangers announced he’d be going on the 15-day disabled list.
An MRI revealed the problem on the left side of his groin. If he needs surgery, Kinsler will miss at least eight weeks.
“This obviously hurts. We can’t replace (Kinsler),” second baseman Michael Young, one of the Rangers’ other three All-Stars, told the team’s official Web site. “We’ll just have to pick up the pieces and claw our way through this.”
Kinsler’s production—he was hitting .319 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs—will be missed even more considering the slump the Rangers (62-64) have been in a funk offensively. The majors’ most productive offense has been woeful recently as Texas began its series with Detroit (61-64).
The Rangers came in having scored 11 runs in their last five games, and they’d been shut out four times in their previous 10 contests.
The offense broke through somewhat on Monday, but Texas’ beleaguered pitching staff—the worst in baseball—cost the team again in an 8-7 loss. Tigers slugger Gary Sheffield hit his 493rd career homer, which tied him for 25th all-time with Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff.
Already at a disadvantage without Kinsler, things won’t get any easier for the Rangers as Armando Galarraga (11-4, 3.11 ERA) will be on the mound looking to win his fifth consecutive decision for the Tigers.
Detroit’s pitching has been a disappointment, but Galarraga has been good by any standards. The rookie right-hander made his major league debut with the Rangers in September, but was dealt to the Tigers in February in exchange for minor leaguer Michael Hernandez, who has since been released by Texas.
The Rangers could certainly use Galarraga now, but Detroit has been happy to reap the benefits. Opposing batters are hitting a mere .217 off the right-hander, the third-lowest average in the majors.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland just wants Galarraga to concentrate on pitching rather than facing the team that traded him.
“It would be the biggest mistake of his life if he goes on the mound hoping to show the Rangers something,” Leyland said. “That’s high school (stuff).”
He’s also coming off what may have been his best start of the season on Wednesday against Toronto. Galarraga gave up a run and six hits over eight innings—striking out six—in a 5-1 victory.
Galarraga will be opposed by Vicente Padilla (12-6, 4.85), whose turn in the rotation was pushed back from Sunday after the right-hander experienced inflammation in his neck.
“I started to feel it right before the All-Star game,” he said, “…but thank God my arm is OK. It’s just my neck.”
Padilla, who gave up six runs in four innings in a loss to Baltimore on Aug. 9, was hit hard in his lone start against Detroit this season. He gave up seven runs in only three innings on May 22 in a 10-2 loss.
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