By Jeff O'Brien

Wily Peralta threw seven scoreless innings in his longest big league outing since 2016 and the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 7-3 on Monday night.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 26: Wily Peralta #58 of the Detroit Tigers looks on after catching a pop out by Kyle Tucker #30 of the Houston Astros during the top of the second inning of game two of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on June 26, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

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No. 9 batter Zack Short homered for the Tigers, who have won three in a row and five of six. Former Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara twice drove in a run without a hit.

Peralta (2-1), back in the majors only three weeks, struck out six without a walk while throwing 61 of 91 pitches for strikes. The right-hander allowed only three hits in his fourth start for Detroit.

“I know that if I’m healthy 100%, I’m going to be able to do my job, and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m thankful to the team for this opportunity,” Peralta said. “I just need to get used to (starting) again, and right now I feel very comfortable.”

Kolby Allard (2-5) struck out a career-high nine in his 5 1/3 innings, and only two of the five runs scored against the Texas lefty were earned.

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 30: Kolby Allard #39 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on June 30, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Rangers avoided a shutout with back-to-back homers with two outs in the ninth off reliever Bryan Garcia. All-Star right fielder Joey Gallo’s 21st homer was an opposite-field, two-run shot to left before Jonah Heim also went deep.

“Outside of Kolby and a couple of homers in the ninth, that was probably our worst game of the year,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We didn’t really stick to the plan we talked about with Peralta. He was good, don’t get me wrong. He mixed up his speeds and executed some pitches.”

The 32-year-old Peralta was released by Kansas City midseason two years ago and spent all of 2020 as a free agent before going to spring training this year with the Tigers on a minor league deal and starting the season at Triple-A Toledo.

“He was late to camp, and didn’t get an opportunity, but hung with us until we needed him, and it’s big for him and big for our team,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Hard to complain about anything that’s he’s doing right now.”

OAKLAND, CA – April 18: Manager A.J. Hinch #14 of the Detroit Tigers in the dugout during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on April 18, 2021 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Tigers 3-2. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)

Peralta made 120 starts for Milwaukee from his debut in 2012 until the Brewers moved him to the bullpen midway through the 2017 season, and was a reliever for all 79 of his games for the Royals in 2018 and 2019. He hadn’t pitched at least seven innings since back-to-back starts in 2016 (Aug. 30 and Sept. 6).

Detroit went ahead to stay in the fourth when Miguel Cabrera had a leadoff single and later scored as Mazara reached on a fielder’s choice grounder.

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The Tigers scored five times in the sixth, the first two runs coming when first baseman Nate Lowe was charged with two errors on a ball hit by Mazara with the bases loaded. Lowe misplayed the grounder, then tossed the ball toward an unoccupied first base, allowing another run to score and ending Allard’s night.

Willi Castro had a RBI sac bunt on the first pitch by reliever Brett Martin, and two pitches later Short’s second homer of the season was a two-run shot that made it 6-0. Short, who had struck out in six consecutive at-bats before going deep, added a sac fly in the eighth.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JUNE 27: Willi Castro #9 of the Detroit Tigers runs in action against the Houston Astros during the bottom of the fifth inning at Comerica Park on June 27, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

SHORT HOPS

Gold Glove-winning right fielder Gallo made a leaping catch at the wall when rookie Akil Baddoo hit the first pitch of the game toward the right field corner. … Detroit was 0-6 against the Rangers in 2019, and didn’t face them last season.

HALE BACK TO COLLEGE

Third base coach Chip Hale worked his final game with the Tigers. He was named Monday as the new head coach at Arizona, his alma mater where he was part of a national championship as a player in 1986. He will be introduced Tuesday on the Tucson campus. “I asked him to work tonight so that we can stabilize things,” Hinch said. Bench coach George Lombard will take over as third base coach at least until the All-Star break.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: CF Daz Cameron was scratched from the lineup with a sprained big right toe after he crashed into the wall when tracking flyballs during pregame batting practice. Baddoo replaced Cameron in center.

UP NEXT

Tigers right-hander José Ureña (2-8, 6.22 ERA) makes his first July start after going winless in June — 0-4 with a 12.50 ERA over 18 innings in five starts. Rookie right-hander Dane Dunning (3-6, 4.38), still being limited by the Rangers, hasn’t gone more than five innings his last seven games.

 

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