ARLINGTON, Texas -- With 38 hits in two games, the Detroit bats are rolling.
The Tigers set season-highs for hits on back-to-back nights, pounding Texas pitching for 20 hits on Tuesday night in an 8-1 victory over the AL West-leading Rangers."When we hit 'em good, they were falling in and when we hit 'em bad, they were falling in sometimes," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.Austin Jackson had three hits and drove in three runs, and Rick Porcello won for the sixth time in his last seven outings, allowing a run on six hits in six innings.
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Porcello (6-3) has allowed fewer than two runs in five of his last nine starts."I got ahead early, and got quick counts early in the ballgame," Porcello said. "In my last start, my fastball command was there but the ball wasn't sinking. I had to get that back."Eleven of Porcello's 18 outs came on ground balls -- his specialty."That's what he does -- throws sinker, slider and change-up," Texas catcher Mike Napoli said. "He tries to get you to hit it into the ground and he got us tonight."Jackson helped Detroit win its fourth straight with a huge two-run single that keyed a four-run fourth inning against Matt Harrison (5-5).Jackson appeared to strike out to end the inning but home-plate umpire Ed Hickox ruled that a fouled third strike hit the ground before going into catcher Mike Napoli's mitt. Replays showed Napoli caught the ball cleanly before Jackson singled two pitches later for a 3-0 lead."I thought he caught it clean," Harrison said. "That's the umpire's judgment and that's the way it goes. I still have to make another pitch. I left the ball out over the plate and (Jackson) was able to drive it into the gap."Every Tiger in the lineup had at least one hit, including Wells, Alex Avila, and Victor Martinez, who also had three hits apiece."It seemed like everything they touched fell in," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.After winning five straight on the road, Texas has come home and dropped two in a row to the Tigers. The series finale is Wednesday, meaning the Rangers' streak of four consecutive winning series is over."They had great at-bats," said outfielder David Murphy, who had three hits to lead the Rangers. "We got beat and that's the game sometimes."Harrison allowed four runs on eight hits in four innings after not allowing a run in his previous 19 2/3 innings.Texas trimmed the deficit to 4-1 in the sixth, stringing together three hits off Porcello. Ian Kinsler scored from third on Michael Young's infield single, but Porcello got Adrian Beltre to line out to short and fanned Cruz with two runners aboard to end the threat."On Beltre, I was trying to get a double play, but he kept fouling off the sinker," Porcello said. "Then he hit a hard liner right at the shortstop. Cruz kept fouling off the sinkers too. Then I was able to elevate a fastball and got him out with that."Detroit added a pair of runs in the sixth on RBI singles from Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Raburn. The lead stretched to 7-1 in the eighth when Wells crushed his second double of the night and Miguel Cabrera followed with an RBI-single.Harrison was pitching for the first time in nine days after missing his last start June 2 in Cleveland with a blister on his right index finger. He also developed a kidney stone and had been in discomfort since last Saturday. He has not passed the stone and there was some concern about whether he would be forced to skip another turn in the rotation."It started hurting again in the top of the ninth," said Harrison. "Hopefully it's out of the way here in a day or so and I can move on."
Texas manager Ron Washington gave SS Elvis Andrus the night off, going with Andres Blanco. "I ran him in the ground last year and I'm not going to run him in the ground this year," Washington said of Andrus. ... Texas CF Endy Chavez (sore toe) remained out of the lineup, but Washington indicated he was available to pinch-hit. ... Rangers RHP Brandon Webb (shoulder inflammation) reported no ill effects from a 15-minute session of long toss before the game. Webb could resume a minor-league rehab assignment early next week.
35,165 (73% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
97 degrees, clear
Home Plate - Ed Hickox, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Brian Onora, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez
The Tigers scored 8 runs on 20 hits in a win over the Rangers.
It's the first WIN for the Tigers with at least 20 hits and fewer than 10 runs since a 9-8 win (21 hits) over the White Sox on August 17, 1957.
The Tigers have registered at least 18 hits for the second straight game.
The only other time in the expansion era (since 1961) in which the Tigers had consecutive games with at least 18 hits came on August 11-12, 1993.
Looking ahead, the Tigers have never had three straight games with at least 18 hits in the live ball era (since 1920).