Tigers look to continue streak against Rangers

The Detroit Tigers have been unstoppable since the All-Star break. They will look to take advantage of the Texas Rangers collapse yet again in Game 3 of a four-game series at Detroit on Wednesday.

Detroit will lead a five-game winning streak in the competition, including the final two nights and the Rangers. On Tuesday, the teams waited for a 2 hour and 10 minute rain delay before the Tigers claimed a 4-1 victory.

Robbie Grossman, who is enjoying a career year in his ninth major league season, had his 14th homerun in the first inning. He had hit a solo homerun which turned out to be the winning point in Game 1 of the streak.

Despite a 0.229 batting average, Grossman is second on the team with 49 points scored. His base percentage is a respectable .353 from 61 walks.

“He’s always been a machine based,” said Detroit manager AJ Hinch. “The power has come as you get older and become a smarter hitter. But the quality of his hitting doesn’t weaken dramatically.”

The Tigers’ pitch and defense were sharp during the streak. They allowed just five runs, including four in an extra innings win over Minnesota on Saturday. Tarik Skubal limited the Rangers to four hits in six innings on Tuesday, and the trio of Kyle Funkhouser, Jose Cisnero and Gregory Soto combined for six strikeouts in the last three innings.

“You have to win in different ways,” Hinch said. “Tarik set the tone. We played pretty well on defense, pulled off a big swing or two, and then our three big boys at the back of the box were excellent. It’s a good combination for us.”

Texas have lost seven straight games, including five since the All-Star break. The Rangers were outscored 55-8 on the slide.

Andy Ibanez’s RBI brace ended a 27 scoreless streak on Tuesday. Rangers manager Chris Woodward said his team had better batting quality, but it wasn’t enough.

“We have batting meetings every day.… I know how hard it is to make a living,” he said. “I’m not here to say we should score 10 points per game, it’s really hard to hit in this league.”

Rangers right-hander Jordan Lyles (5-6, 5.20 ERA) will try to bounce back after a poor outing in which he gave up four home runs in four innings to Toronto. Lyles had made four consecutive quality starts before his outing on Friday, when Texas ended up losing 10-2.

“It’s a very good formation, a very good team,” said Lyles. “They made me pay (for) a lot of mistakes.”

Lyles has allowed 21 home runs this season. Before Tuesday’s games, only his teammate Mike Foltynewicz had given up more (28) in the majors.

“We can’t win too many games if we’re going to give up three or four home runs in a game,” said Woodward.

Lyles has only faced Detroit twice in his career, including one departure. He allowed two combined runs in seven innings, with 11 strikeouts.

The Tigers will pit rookie right-hander Matt Manning (1-3, 6.95), who will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo to start. Manning was selected for the Mud Hens after his last start because the Tigers wanted a new reliever before the all-star break.

Manning has made five starts, the most recent on July 9 when he allowed two runs on two hits in five innings to Minnesota.

– Field level media

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