Shelton tripled twice and drove in three runs, Verlander pitched
seven innings for his first career win, and the Tigers remained the
American League's only unbeaten team with a 7-0 victory over the
Shelton hit five home runs in his first four games this season,
but he showed off his baserunning Saturday. Verlander held the
Rangers to two singles over seven innings to help Detroit get off
to its first 5-0 start since 1985.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland remained cautious about his team's
"I don't (put) much stock in it," said Leyland, who last
managed with the Colorado Rockies in 1999. "I put stock in the
fact that these games give us confidence and help us feel better
about ourselves. We still have a long hill to climb."
Shelton hit a two-run triple in the first to give the Tigers a
4-0 cushion. The first baseman, who is hitting .700 after going
3-for-4, added an RBI triple in the third.
"I'm lucky if I get two in a year, let alone in back-to-back at
bats," Shelton said. "It's all kind of overwhelming. It's been a
great week. What else can I say."
Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer in the seventh for
Detroit, which has 17 already this season.
That gave Verlander (1-0) all he needed to earn his first win in
the big leagues. He allowed two singles in the fourth, struck out
seven and walked two in his 89 pitches.
The 23-year-old right-hander, who hit 99 mph with his fastball
while throwing his off-speed pitches for strikes, was 0-2 with a
7.15 ERA last season.
"It's my first big league win and you can't beat that,"
Verlander said. "I'm kind of elated to tell you the truth. I
wanted to continue the streak of our starting pitchers. That's
5-for-5 right there."
Kevin Millwood (0-2) struggled in his second start with Texas.
He allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings.
Millwood, who signed a $60 million, five-year deal in the
offseason, struck out five without walking a batter.
Texas dropped its fourth straight and is 1-5 for the first time
since 2002. After the final out, the Rangers were booed by the fans
coming off the field.
"We've played six games. There's a lot of season left,"
manager Buck Showalter said. "It's very easy to trust these guys
to come through."
The Rangers didn't muster a hit off Verlander until Phil Nevin
singled with one out in the fourth. Chris Spurling relieved
Verlander to start the eighth. Detroit pitchers retired their final
Millwood threw his glove down in disgust when he returned to the
dugout. In his first two Texas starts, Millwood has given up nine
earned runs in 11 innings.
"I was just upset with myself," Millwood said. "It's nice to
go out and set a tone. And I didn't set the right tone."
Verlander looked at ease from the start. He struck out Texas
leadoff hitter Brad Wilkerson on three pitches.
Verlander retired his final eight batters after allowing a
one-out walk to Ian Kinsler in the fifth.
Shelton's RBI triple in the third made it 5-0. He added a
one-out single in the sixth before striking out in the eighth.
Granderson's home run made it 7-0.
"The Tigers are the best-hitting team in the world right now,"
Detroit LHP Kenny Rogers will start against his former club
Sunday. He led the Rangers with 14 wins last season but was
suspended 13 days following a pre-game confrontation with
photographers. ... Nix went 0-for-3 and is 0-for-15 this season.