“When you do that early on, it gives you a lot of confidence going into later innings,” Dickey said.
Dickey threw a six-hitter for his first major league shutout, and Alex Rodriguez homered for the third straight game as Texas beat the Detroit Tigers 6-0 on Wednesday night for its eighth straight win.
Dickey (8-5) also struck out a career-high seven batters in his first complete game in the big leagues.
“He throws strikes, he works quickly, he throws a split,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “He threw a lot of fastballs tonight.”
The first two Detroit batters reached in the third inning on singles by Ramon Santiago and Ben Petrick, and moved over on Danny Klassen’s sacrifice. Dickey then struck out Bobby Higginson, who just missed a three-run homer as his drive down the right-field line landed just outside the foul post. Dmitri Young then walked to load the bases, but Dickey struck out Kevin Witt to end the threat.
In the second, singles by Young and Witt put runners on first and third with no outs. Dickey struck out Craig Monroe, and Shane Halter then bunted, but Young couldn’t score and Halter was thrown out at first. Matt Walbeck flied to right to end the inning.
“We had bases loaded, I ended up striking Witt out,” Dickey said. “I had first and third and got out of that with nobody out—got out of that without a run given up.”
Tigers manager Alan Trammell lamented the team’s lost chances.
“We had first and third with nobody out and can’t score, they come back with two,” Trammell said. “Next inning, second and third with one out, we can’t score again, they come back with two. That kind of burst our bubble.”
Rodriguez took over the American League lead in home runs with his 36th, off reliever Wilfredo Ledezma in the eighth inning. He has 12 homers in his last 20 games.
“I think I’ve been feeling pretty good at the plate,” Rodriguez said. “I think the team is playing well. I think the energy, everyone benefits from it.”
Nate Cornejo (5-13) allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings for the Tigers, who lost their eighth straight. It was also the 13th time this season Detroit was shut out.
“I’ve got to take a lot of that blame because I’m not getting the message across the way I’d like to,” Trammell said. “And I’ll say I’m not doing the job. And I hope the they’re saying that they’re not doing the job in there.”
Texas opened the scoring with two runs in the third. Ramon Nivar doubled into the left-field corner with two outs, and scored on Michael Young’s triple. Hank Blalock followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.
With one out in the fourth, Mark Teixeira hit his 19th home run deep into the right-field stands. Laynce Nix followed with a single, stole second and scored on Jason Jones one-hop drive off the right-field fence to make it 4-0. Jones was thrown out at second by right fielder Higginson.
Rodriguez made it 6-0 in the eighth with a two-run shot into the left-field stands. He had been tied for the AL lead with the New York Yankees’ JasonGiambi.
The eight-game winning streak is Texas’ longest since June 19-25, 2002. … Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 11 games, and he’s hitting 16-for-43 (.372) during the stretch. … Michael Young’s triple was his ninth of the season, moving him into third place in the AL, behind Boston’s NomarGarciaparra and Minnesota’s Cristian Guzman.