Beltre-led Rangers ready for rubber game with Tigers

There are times when Adrian Beltre puts Texas on his back and carries it, but not even his return from the disabled list could push the Rangers past Detroit on Tuesday.

Beltre, who hadn’t seen live pitching since April 25 after suffering a strained hamstring, ripped three hits and recorded two RBIs but the Tigers were too much for Beltre and the rest of the Rangers to overcome in a 7-4 Detroit victory at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The Tigers’ win squared the three-game series at a win apiece.

The rubber game of the series on Wednesday afternoon will pit left-hander Francisco Liriano (3-1, 2.97 ERA) for the Tigers against Texas right-hander Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.29).

Beltre was back in his usual spot, playing third base and batting cleanup for the Rangers against Detroit. He blooped a single in his second at-bat, lined an RBI single to left in his third plate appearance and ripped an RBI single to right to pull the Rangers within two runs in the eighth inning.

“We missed his leadership on the field, in the batter’s box, the competitiveness and the consistency of being able to play third base,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “Emotionally and mentally, it’s a huge boost for our guys to have (Adrian) back in the lineup.

“It stretches our lineup out and allows us to put guys back in spots where (they) can sustain more of an offensive attack up and down the lineup.”

The Tigers had the answer for Texas on Tuesday, scoring five runs in the first two innings off Rangers starter Mike Minor (3-2). Jeimer Candelario had two hits and an RBI, Victor Martinez had a two-run single and Jose Iglesias also had a two-run single for Detroit in the win.

Mike Fiers (3-2) got the win for Detroit on Tuesday, allowing two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, the injuries continue to pile up for the Tigers. After losing Miguel Cabrera, Alex Wilson and Jordan Zimmermann to the disabled list in the past week, Leonys Martins was out of the lineup Tuesday after experiencing soreness behind his left knee.

Martin will undergo an MRI exam to see if there’s any damage in the area, which has been sore for a while but swelled up on him after Monday’s 7-6 loss.

“He’s had soreness, but no swelling. Now he has a little swelling, so now we have to get it checked out,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said about Martin’s injury.

Liriano will make his seventh start of the season in the series finale at Texas. In his most recent outing Friday at Kansas City, he turned in his fourth quality start of the season but did not factor into the decision.

Liriano has made 14 appearances (nine starts) in his career against the Rangers, compiling a 5-3 record with one save, and a 4.03 ERA. He faced the Rangers four times last season, including once as a starter, and went 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA. In 11 career appearances, including eight starts, at Globe Life Park, Liriano has a 4-3 record with one save, and a 4.11 ERA.

Liriano has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his six starts this season. The streak is his second longest to start a season in his career, trailing only a streak of 10 straight starts from May 19-July 8, 2006.

The 44-year-old Colon is slated to make his eighth appearance and sixth start of the season and will be working on regular four days’ rest. He suffered his first loss as a Ranger in the club’s 5-1 setback Friday against Boston.

Colon has gone 9-10 with a 5.25 ERA over 28 games (27 starts) in his career versus the Tigers. In his only outing against Detroit since 2014, he earned the win in Minnesota’s season finale on Oct. 17, 2017 at Target Field, a 5-1 Twins victory.