Rangers-Tigers Preview

The Associated Press

The Detroit Tigers' starting pitchers were struggling during the club's longest losing streak of the season until Anibal Sanchez snapped it.

With Rick Porcello next in line, Detroit's rotation could soon be trending in the opposite direction.

Porcello looks to win his seventh straight start Saturday when he faces the Texas Rangers.

Tigers starters surrendered 22 runs over 21 1-3 innings during a four-game slide that ended behind Anibal Sanchez, who limited Texas to two runs in seven innings of a 7-2 victory Friday.

"We probably were a little bit tired, but that's no excuse for this ballclub, and tonight we just looked sharper," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "We looked well rested and ready to play.''

Kinsler is batting .400 with eight doubles during a nine-game hitting streak after doubling three times against his former team Friday.

Porcello (7-1, 2.91 ERA) is aiming to become the first to win seven consecutive starts since Bartolo Colon won eight in a row May 20-June 28, 2013.

However, Porcello is 3-3 with a 6.59 ERA in six career starts against Texas. He gave up eight earned runs and 10 hits in one inning of a 10-4 loss in his lone home start versus the Rangers on April 21, 2012.

The right-hander can rid himself of some past demons for the second straight game. Porcello had given up eight earned runs in his previous start against Boston before limiting the Red Sox to one run over eight innings of a 6-1 road win last Saturday.

It was the fourth straight time he surrendered fewer than three runs.

"It's May," Porcello, who has won all three of his home starts with a 1.77 ERA, told the team's official website. "I've said before, this is a marathon, it's not a sprint."

The Rangers (23-25) had won three of five with Prince Fielder out before Friday's loss, which followed the announcement that he will undergo season-ending neck surgery Tuesday.

"A big blow for us as a team, losing him in the middle of the lineup," Mitch Moreland said. "But we've been dealing with adversity all year."

Texas got an RBI double from Moreland, who had played only eight of his first 38 games at first base before starting there Friday.

Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre each went 2 for 4. Rios is 9 for 25 (.360) during a six-game hitting streak and 15 for 34 in his last eight games at Detroit (28-16).

Beltre has batted .386 in his last 29 games in this series, failing to get a hit in only four contests during that span.

Leadoff hitter Leonys Martin went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Friday and has batted .233 in his last 10 games with one run.

Texas will send rookie Nick Martinez (0-1, 2.28) to the mound for his second game since rejoining the rotation due to injuries. Martinez allowed an earned run over five innings of a 6-2 win over Toronto on Sunday in his first start in nearly a month. He failed to get his first career victory despite exiting with a 2-1 lead.

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