Detroit Tigers slug three homers for 6th straight win in 4-2 victory over Texas Rangers

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Casey Mize took the mound Monday. Tarik Skubal dominated Tuesday. And Matt Manning stepped up Wednesday.

The efforts from the rookie arms helped deliver the Detroit Tigers three consecutive wins over the Texas Rangers, the latest being a 4-2 victory Wednesday — ignited by three home runs — in front of 21,132 fans at Comerica Park in the third of four games in the series.

The Tigers (46-51) extended their winning streak to six games, all since the All-Star break. They are 37-27 since May 8.

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Detroit Tigers shortstop Zack Short (59) receives congratulations from first baseman Jonathan Schoop (7) after he hit a two run home run in the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Detroit Tigers shortstop Zack Short (59) receives congratulations from first baseman Jonathan Schoop (7) after he hit a two run home run in the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Manning fired six innings of two-run ball (one earned) before the Tigers went to their steady trio of relievers. Ahead by two runs, righty Joe Jimenez delivered a perfect seventh to keep the momentum alive.

Righty Jose Cisnero pitched a scoreless eighth. Left-hander Gregory Soto worked around a bloop single to right, a hit-by-pitch and a balk to complete a scoreless ninth inning for his 10th save.

Striking first, adding on

For the second time in 2021, Robbie Grossman homered in consecutive games. After taking Dane Dunning on Tuesday night, he attacked Rangers starter Jordan Lyles in the first inning.

Grossman fell behind 0-2 but extended the at-bat to seven pitches. He saw at least one four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider and changeup before clobbering the first curveball Lyles offered him. The ball traveled 400 feet into right-center field for a 1-0 lead.

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It was Grossman's 15th homer this season. The last time he homered in two straight games: June 9-10 against the Mariners. He also extended his on-base streak to a career-high 20 games.

Detroit Tigers' Robbie Grossman rounds the bases after a solo home run off Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Lyles during the first inning at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Detroit Tigers' Robbie Grossman rounds the bases after a solo home run off Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Lyles during the first inning at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

The Rangers tied the game in the top of the second inning, but the Tigers struck back in the bottom of the frame. Rookie Zack Short — known more for his defense — showed some sneaky power.

Lyles threw Short a first-pitch slider for a called strike. He then went back to his slider for the second pitch. Both pitches were elevated, but the second slider was down the middle, and Short didn't miss. He blasted his fourth home run (in 25 games) to left field, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

Six innings for Manning

Wednesday's was 23-year-old Manning's sixth MLB start, and for the first time, he completed six innings. He threw 50 of 77 pitches for strikes and generated 11 swings and misses: Seven fastballs, three sliders, one changeup.

He allowed two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out four batters.

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Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Manning catches the pop-up hit by Texas Rangers' Brock Holt during the first inning at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Manning catches the pop-up hit by Texas Rangers' Brock Holt during the first inning at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Manning worked quickly throughout his outing, needing only 30 pitches for the first three innings. The lone earned run against him came in the second, when John Hicks followed Joey Gallo's first-pitch single with a double to center field.

Hicks drove one of three curveballs Manning offered in his outing. Manning then retired the next three batters on six pitches.

The Rangers tallied their second run in the fourth. Manning walked Adolis Garcia (an American League Rookie of the Year candidate) on five pitches. A passed ball from catcher Grayson Greiner allowed Garcia to advance to second base.

With two outs, David Dahl doubled on Manning's first-pitch changeup to score Garcia and cut the Rangers' deficit to one. But Manning responded by striking out Eli White with a 94 mph fastball. He struck out his first two in the fourth and added another strikeout in each of the fifth and sixth frames.

Manning tossed 57% fastballs, 19% changeups, 19% sliders and 4% curveballs. His fastball averaged 92.8 mph.

Baddoo hits No. 8

Manning pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth innings. He didn't need the extra run support, but rookie Akil Baddoo provided it anyway. The Rule 5 draft sensation worked a 3-1 count against Lyles in the fifth before finding the perfect fastball.

Baddoo swung at a 93-mph fastball down the heart of the plate, launching it 409 feet to right-center, for a 4-2 lead.

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Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo (60) celebrates after he hit a home run in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Detroit Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo (60) celebrates after he hit a home run in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in Detroit on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.

Lyles allowed four runs on six hits and one walk, with five strikeouts, over seven innings. He has given up 24 home runs across 20 games (19 starts) in 2021.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers beat Texas Rangers, 4-2, for sixth win in a row