DETROIT (AP) -- Gary Matthews Jr. walked into the clubhouse and
his Texas teammates were waiting.
Gary Matthews Jr. became the seventh player to hit for the cycle over the last two seasons and the fifth to do so from the leadoff slot in the batting order. Only three leadoff hitters -- Eric Byrnes (2003), Craig Biggio (2002) and Neifi Perez (1998) -- had cycled over the previous 13 years.• For more Elias Says, click here
Matthews got drenched in a celebratory beer bath after hitting
for the cycle Wednesday night and leading the Rangers over the
Detroit Tigers 11-3.Matthews did it in order, too. He led off the game with a
single, doubled in the second inning, tripled in the fourth and hit
a 418-foot homer leading off the sixth.The All-Star center fielder also walked in the eighth."It's special," Matthews said. "Everything lined up tonight.
To go out and have days like this is really just the icing on the
cake."Matthews became the third Rangers player to hit for the cycle.
He joined Mark Teixeira (2004) and Oddibe McDowell (1985).
Rangers Cycle Hitters
Gary Matthews Jr.
Sep. 13, 2006
Aug. 17, 2004
July 23, 1985
The Rangers roughed up Justin Verlander and sent the AL
Central-leading Tigers to their 10th loss in 15 games. Detroit
leads Minnesota by 1½ games, while Chicago moved three back."Justin wasn't good tonight. He didn't have his good stuff and
his command wasn't there," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
"We're not worried about Minnesota -- I'm sure they figure they
missed an opportunity today, too. Chicago lost yesterday and won
today. It's going to come down to the wire, and we just have to win
enough games to get in."Carlos Lee hit two solo home runs for Texas.Verlander (16-8) yielded 10 hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings.
It was his shortest outing since April 13 when he went 2 2/3
against the White Sox."This was tough, because I gave up so many two-out hits,"
Verlander said. "There are a lot of pitches I'd like back -- a lot
of pitches up in the zone."Mike Maroth entered the game, making his second appearance since
returning from elbow surgery, and gave up a two-run homer to Matt
Stairs.Kevin Millwood (15-10) gave up three runs and seven hits in
seven innings. He doesn't think the Tigers are struggling at the
plate."They're a tough lineup, you got to make your pitches,"
Millwood said. "If you don't, you're going to get yourself in a
lot of trouble."Millwood is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA against the Tigers this year."Kevin has been pitching well for a while, he's a horse,"
Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He kept pounding the strike
zone and made the runs matter."The Tigers didn't put a runner into scoring position until the
fourth inning. Sean Casey hit a two-run double, his first
extra-base hit in 16 games, that made it 4-2 and scored on Brandon
Inge's single.With Texas leading 5-3 in the fifth, Verlander was pulled after
giving up a run-scoring single to Mark DeRosa."I needed to get us a stop at that point, and it didn't
happen," Verlander said. "That's disappointing."Young made it 10-3 with a two-run homer off Jason Grilli in the
eighth.Tigers star Ivan Rodriguez didn't have a hit in the two-game
series. He was 0-for-4 in Tuesday's win and again went 0-for-4 on
Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya has tendinitis in his right
wrist and won't be available until at least Friday. ... Texas will
face the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday for the first time since
eight players and coaches were suspended after a bench-clearing
brawl Aug. 16 in Texas. ... Detroit's Craig Monroe went 0-for-3 and
he is hitless in his last 15 at-bats. ... Joaquin Arias made his
major league debut with Texas, drawing a walk in the ninth.