(ARLINGTON, TEXAS) – Based on Doug Fister’s short, but telling, road history in Texas, the Rangers should feel confident they can get the best of another Detroit Tigers starting pitcher.
The surging Rangers look to build on another strong offensive performance against Fister and the struggling Tigers on Sunday night.
Elvis Andrus had a career-high five hits, Mitch Moreland homered and Texas (28-15) tagged Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez for six runs and nine hits in 2 2-3 innings of Saturday’s 7-2 victory. The Rangers have won 11 of 15 and totaled 17 runs and 23 hits in their two victories in the first three games of this set.
The Tigers (23-18), who won 2-1 on Friday, have dropped seven of 11 since winning nine of 10. Detroit also has lost 10 of 13, including the playoffs, at Texas.
Fister (5-1, 3.06 ERA) has made only two starts at Texas, but he’s lost both while allowing 14 runs and 19 hits – including five homers – in nine combined innings.
The right-hander, however, has enjoyed a strong start this season and allowed two runs in seven innings of a 6-2 win over Houston on Tuesday. That outing also marked the second time in 2013 that Fister did not record one of his major league-leading 10 hit batsmen.
Texas counters with Derek Holland (3-2, 2.93), who looks for a third consecutive victory but hopes for a better performance than his last outing. Holland allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5, 10-inning win at Oakland on Tuesday.
“He wasn’t putting the ball in the same spots he had been,” manager Ron Washington told the Rangers’ official website. “I don’t know if he lost his focus, but he just wasn’t in tune with the game anymore. It looked like it almost got out of control for him.”
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 1.57 ERA in three home starts this season. He’s posted a 4.26 ERA without a decision in four starts, including the playoffs, versus Detroit.
Andrus was 1 for 11 in the previous three games before he broke out Saturday. He hit in the leadoff spot for a second straight game as second baseman Ian Kinsler sat again with sore ribs.
“The only thing I’m concerned about is Elvis leading the team and he’s taking advantage of it,” Washington said. “Ian Kinsler has not been Wally Pipped.”
Washington is uncertain if Kinsler will be ready to go in the finale.
“He’s still a little tender,” Washington said. “We’ll give him another day and reassess Sunday.”
Moreland is batting .364 in his last six games versus Detroit.
Though the Tigers have batted .215 and totaled 13 runs while losing three of four, star Miguel Cabrera leads the majors with a .373 average and is batting .412 during a 16-game road hitting streak.
Teammate Prince Fielder, however, is 3 for 24 (.125) with one RBI in his last seven contests. He’s 2 for 15 in his last five road games against the Rangers.
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