Martinez earns first win, Rangers rout Tigers
DETROIT (AP) — If the Texas Rangers are going to overcome the major injuries that have threatened their season, they likely will need significant contributions from rookies like Nick Martinez and Rougned Odor.
Martinez pitched six sharp innings for his first major league win, and Odor drove in five runs with a pair of triples to lead the Rangers to a 12-2 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. Adrian Beltre and Donnie Murphy homered for Texas, which put slugger Prince Fielder on the disabled list this week with a neck problem that is expected to end his season.
"I’m convinced that I can go out and do it," Martinez said. "I think that’s what separates major leaguers and minor leaguers, is that complete trust that they have in themselves."
Martinez (1-1) allowed a run and eight hits. The Rangers scored four runs in the fourth, plus three each in the sixth and seventh.
Rick Porcello (7-2) had won his last six starts before being knocked around by Texas. He allowed eight runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Detroit has lost five of six.
Leonys Martin, Murphy and Odor — the last three hitters in the Texas batting order — combined for eight hits, eight RBIs and seven runs. Odor had four hits after going 6 for 31 in his first 11 games.
"It was nice to see the bottom of the order come through like that," Murphy said. "It’s fun, because normally you don’t see that. Odor, the day he had, that was unbelievable, and Martin, it was fun watching him too. I’m glad that we were productive for the team today."
Martinez was making his fourth start for the Rangers, and the 23-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA to 2.14. With Texas ahead 5-1 in the fifth, the Tigers put two men on, but Martinez got Torii Hunter to hit into an inning-ending force play with Miguel Cabrera looming on deck.
Martinez ended his day by getting Nick Castellanos to line into a double play with the bases loaded in the sixth.
The AL Central-leading Tigers have hit a rough patch. They’ve allowed 45 runs in the last six games, with their normally sturdy starting rotation suddenly looking vulnerable.
For the second time in three days, Detroit used knuckleballing infielder Danny Worth to pitch the final inning of a blowout loss. Worth struck out two against Texas on Thursday, but on Saturday he allowed an RBI double to Michael Choice.
"I don’t want to turn it into a sideshow with a position player pitching, but we’ve got to do something to rest some of the arms in the bullpen," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
Detroit actually scored first on an RBI double by Rajai Davis in the second, but Porcello allowed four runs with two out in the fourth. Chris Gimenez hit an RBI double and scored on a single by Martin. The 20-year-old Odor added a two-run triple.
Beltre hit a solo homer in the fifth, and Murphy’s two-run shot the following inning made it 7-1. Mitch Moreland added an RBI double in the sixth, and Odor hit his second triple in the seventh — this one with the bases loaded.
Texas came into the day having used 39 players this season, tied for the most in baseball. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was pulled in the sixth Saturday with a sore left ankle, although the Rangers said the move was precautionary.
By then, Texas had broken the game open. The Rangers finished with 19 hits.
NOTES: Detroit’s Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez and Texas’ Alex Rios had three hits each. … Detroit RHP Corey Knebel made his major league debut in relief of Porcello. He allowed the three-run triple by Odor. … Kinsler extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … There were replay overturns at first, second and third, two on challenges by the Tigers. In all three cases, the call was changed from safe to out. … The Tigers wore the uniform of the Detroit Stars, while the Rangers wore the uniform of the Fort Worth Texas Black Panthers as part of a Negro Leagues tribute game. … Detroit sends RHP Justin Verlander (5-3) to the mound Sunday to face Texas RHP Colby Lewis (3-3).