Tigers 11, Rangers 4
“Granderson has been doing this all year at the top of the lineup,” said first baseman Sean Casey, who had three hits. “Those triples really get the whole offense going.”
The Rangers have the worst record in baseball at 21-39. They have lost 12 of 15 games.
Texas starter Kameron Loe (1-6) gave up nine runs in 2 2-3 innings and the combined ERA for Rangers’ starters climbed to 6.97. This was 18th time this season a Rangers starter has pitched four innings or fewer.
Manager Ron Washington continues to stay positive despite his team’s woes.
“We have to start making some pitches,” Washington said. “We have hit a bad funk. They are not going to stop fighting. We feel bad about it. I’m never going to quit on these guys.”
Sheffield led off the third with his 16th home run of the season to gave Detroit a 4-1 lead. He hit two home runs and had five RBIs in Detroit’s 10-0 victory Wednesday.
After starting 1-4 on a 10-game road trip, the Tigers have won four of five to finish with a 5-5 mark.
“At start of the trip, people started to say we’ve got problems,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “But we’re capable of winning games. Five-and-five is fine.”
Mike Maroth (4-2) was the beneficiary of Detroit’s offensive outburst. He allowed three runs and eight hits over five innings.
“Getting on top early gets momentum on your side,” Granderson said. “We’re able to put the pressure on the pitcher and feel comfortable on the offensive side.”
Texas slugger Sammy Sosa was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in his pursuit to become the fifth player to hit 600 home runs. Sosa is 7-of-48 with 16 strikeouts since hitting his 598th homer on May 22.
Detroit, which had 17 hits, broke open a 3-1 game in the third.
Sheffield led off with a 405-foot blast into the Rangers bullpen. Craig Monroe had an RBI groundout, Inge had an RBI single and Granderson then hit his 12th triple of the season to drive in two more. That extended Detroit’s cushion to 8-1.
Loe gave up nine hits and walked one to lose his sixth straight decision. He hasn’t won since April 21—a span of nine starts.
Despite Texas’ pitching troubles, Washington said after the game he has no plans on altering his starting rotation.
“I know I have to put up good starts if I want to stay here,” Loe said. “The more bad starts I have, the closer I am to being on the way out. That’s the reality of it.”
The Rangers pitchers didn’t get much help from their defense.
Hairston, who was making a his first start of the season at third base, committed an error in the first. Right fielder Victor Diaz misplayed Casey’s double in the third, and second baseman Ian Kinsler botched a rundown that allowed Ordonez to score later in the inning.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the fourth on RBI singles from Mike Rabelo and Granderson.
Detroit struck first when Granderson, who had three hits, tripled to open the game. He came home on Sheffield’s RBI groundout.
After Young’s RBI double tied the game at 1, Inge’s two-run double put the Tigers ahead for good in the second.
Sheffield passed Willie Stargell for 39th on the all-time list with 1,541 RBIs. … The Rangers have been outscored 95-48 in the first two innings this season.