Undermanned Tigers hold off Rangers 7-4
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre had a couple of hits the night he strained his left hamstring and three more upon his return two weeks later.
The Texas Rangers just aren’t converting their 39-year-old star’s production into victories.
Victor Martinez and Jeimer Candelario homered in the first inning, Jose Iglesias added another long ball in the second and the Detroit Tigers held off the Rangers 7-4 Tuesday night.
Beltre’s injury-interrupted hitting streak is at five games, and the Rangers have lost four of them. Texas (14-24) trails badly in last place in the AL West.
“We have a lot of challenges,” Beltre said. “We’re in a tough division, one of the best divisions in the league, and try to figure out how to be a better ball club, as a team. I don’t think I have to challenge myself. It’s just a team thing.”
Beltre, MLB’s active leader in hits, reached 3,078 with three singles after missing 12 games with the injury. He hit run-scoring singles in the sixth and eighth to give him 1,652 RBIs, tying Tony Perez for 27th on the career list.
In his 21st season, Beltre became the active hits leader while on the disabled list when Ichiro Suzuki, with 3,089 hits, was removed from Seattle’s 40-player roster last week for another role with the Mariners.
Mike Fiers (3-2), winless with an 8.90 ERA in six previous appearances against Texas, took a shutout into the fifth before Jurickson Profar’s leadoff homer , his second. The right-hander gave up six hits and two runs with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Shane Greene struck out the side after a leadoff single in the ninth for his first four-out save of the season and seventh overall in nine chances.
“It could have been more if we didn’t get a couple of other guys out,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “But he needed to pitch. He was going to pitch no matter what the score was tonight. So he got a little extra work in, which is good.”
Martinez’s third homer was a two-run shot after Candelario connected with the bases empty for his fifth. Candelario is tied for the team lead with leadoff hitter Leonys Martin, the former Texas center fielder who was out of the lineup and is headed to the DL with a left hamstring strain.
Iglesias connected on a two-run shot , his first of the season, for a 5-0 lead in the second against left-hander Mike Minor, who gave up six of his seven hits the first time through the order.
Martin has been battling soreness behind the left knee, and an MRI revealed the hamstring strain. Gardenhire said the Tigers were bringing up Mikie Mahtook from Triple-A Toledo to replace him. “They’ve got to do treatment on him and get this thing straightened out because he’s at a dangerous spot right now with this hamstring,” Gardenhire said. “They’re talking about not too many more than 10 days.”
Minor (3-2) threw five scoreless innings after his rough start, going a season-high seven innings. A reliever in Kansas City last season after missing two years with shoulder problems, the former Atlanta starter pitched on regular four days’ rest for the first time with Texas.
Tigers: RHPs Alex Wilson (plantar fascia strain in left foot) and Jordan Zimmermann (right shoulder impingement) went on the disabled list. RHP Zac Reininger and INF Pete Kozma were brought up from Toledo. LHP Daniel Norris (left groin injury) was moved to the 60-day DL to clear a roster spot for Kozma.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor (left hamstring strain) was set for a rehab appearance with Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday after going 1 for 5 in two games with Double-A Frisco. … To make room for Beltre, the Rangers sent INF Eliezer Alvarez back to Frisco a day after calling him up.
RHP Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.29 ERA) makes his sixth start for the Rangers, coming off his first loss when the 44-year-old matched his career high by allowing four homers, all solo shots in Boston’s 5-1 win. Tigers LHP Francisco Liriano (3-1, 2.97 ERA) is 5-3 with a save and a 4.03 ERA in 14 appearances at the home of the Rangers, including nine starts. Liriano faced Texas four times last year, three after Houston acquired him at the trading deadline.