ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Only a few singles and more of a sinking feeling for the Texas Rangers.
Rick Porcello pitched a three-hitter, limiting Texas to only singles for his first career shutout, and the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers completed a three-game series sweep with a 6-0 victory Thursday night.
“We know we’re a way better team than the way we’re playing right now,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “He’s got a pretty good sinker. We all knew that. He made the right pitch at the right moment.”
The Rangers have lost eight in a row, the longest current streak in the majors and their most since another eight-game slide in August 2005. They are 1-6-1 in their last eight series.
Porcello (10-4) allowed only one runner to third base and benefited from three 4-6-3 double plays, including on Andrus’ grounder after Texas had consecutive hits in the sixth.
Rangers rookie Nick Martinez (1-5) allowed six hits and walked five of the 18 batters he faced in 2 1-3 innings. He threw 36 balls and 33 strikes.
“When you’re talking about a kid that just got out of A ball and was supposed to start in Double A, when things go smooth they are able to continue to drive with it,” manager Ron Washington said. “When it got out of control, he just couldn’t stop it. He just couldn’t find the strike zone and it ended up biting him.”
Detroit, which has a majors-best seven-game winning streak, went ahead to stay in the second when Torii Hunter drew a bases-loaded walk before Miguel Cabrera’s deep inning-ending flyout with the bases loaded.
Victor Martinez drew a walk to start the third before a double by Nick Castellanos set up Austin Jackson’s two-run single. After two more walks, Nick Martinez was pulled and Ian Kinsler greeted reliever Scott Baker with an RBI single that made it 4-0.
Baker allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings of relief.
Kinsler, the three-time All-Star for the Rangers who was traded to Detroit for Prince Fielder last offseason, homered in his first at-bat Tuesday in his return to Texas as an opponent. Kinsler went 6 for 12 in the series with four runs and four RBIs.
With two hits in all three games, Kinsler extended his streak of multihit games to five and is hitting .302 on the season. He has 31 multihit games, one behind Houston’s Jose Altuve for the most in the majors.
J.D. Martinez had a sacrifice fly for the Tigers, but went 0 for 4 to snap his 14-game hitting streak that was the longest active run in the majors.
Cabrera had three singles before his AL-high 28th double in the eighth drove home Kinsler.
“We’re playing good baseball as a team, and we’re confident as a group right now,” Kinsler said. “It’s just a lot of fun playing ball that way.”
NOTES: Texas is 16-22 at home. … It was the fourth shutout for the Tigers this season. Texas was held scoreless for the fourth time. … Rangers LHP Derek Holland, on the DL since offseason left knee surgery, took fielding practice off the mound. He is scheduled to throw a simulated game Saturday in Arlington. Holland said he feels great, “like I can do everything.” … Texas GM Jon Daniels said his team can’t focus on all the injuries — a major league-high 14 players on the disabled list. He said a big thing right now is player development at the big league level with the youngsters having to play.
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