By STEPHEN HAWKINS/AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Ian Kinsler homered in the first at-bat of his return to Texas as an opponent and J.D. Martinez had a tiebreaking two-run shot as the Detroit Tigers beat the Rangers 8-2 on Tuesday night.
The AL Central-leading Tigers won their fifth in a row. The Rangers have a season-worst six-game losing streak.
Kinsler spent the first eight seasons of his career in Texas before being traded for Prince Fielder in a swap of All-Stars last winter. Kinsler got more cheers than boos when he was introduced in the first inning, then sent a pitch by Colby Lewis (5-5) into the left-field seats.
Martinez homered to center off Lewis in the seventh, a pitch after Victor Martinez doubled, for a 3-1 lead.
Adrian Beltre went 4 for 4 for Texas, pushing his career total to 2,503 hits.
Drew Smyly (4-6) allowed only one unearned run over six innings.
After Kinsler made a slight wave with his right hand toward the Rangers dugout after going deep, with no apparent reaction from his former team, the second baseman had a smile on his face rounding the bases. It was his ninth homer this season.
Boos were more prevalent during Kinsler’s last four plate appearances – a popout, groundout and a strikeout before adding a two-run single in the eighth.
The homer by J.D. Martinez, his eighth of the season, started a five-run outburst in the seventh.
Lewis was gone after a single by Austin Jackson. Reliever Ben Rowen then gave up three consecutive hits, including RBI singles by Alex Avila and Rajai Davis, and Victor Martinez drew a bases-loaded walk off Shawn Tolleson.
A week after signing a minor league deal, Carlos Pena was called up from Triple-A Round Rock earlier Tuesday and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
The first baseman was a first-round draft pick by the Rangers in 1998 and made his major league debut late in the 2001 season before being traded that winter. Only Sammy Sosa (1989 to 2007) went longer between games for Texas.
NOTES: The Rangers played the first of 20 games over 20 consecutive days. At 35-41, they are six games below .500 for the first time since September 2008. Texas is 16-20 at home. … Davis was caught stealing in the sixth after a safe ruling was overturned. Davis clearly beat the throw with his headfirst slide, but Texas manager Ron Washington challenged and replay showed Davis’ hand popped up and was briefly off the bag while 2B Rougned Odor still had the tag applied. … There was no pregame BP on the field because of showers, but the game started on time despite a light rain falling at first pitch. The Rangers are the only team in the majors without a delay or postponement of any kind this season.
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