Rangers, Tigers face off after losing previous series

The Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers open a three-game series on Monday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on the heels of respective losses in four-game weekend series and looking to find positives from the lower portion of the standings six weeks into the season.

The Tigers will send right-hander Michael Fulmer (1-2, 2.80 ERA) to the mound for the opener of a three-game series and the Rangers will counter with left-hander Matt Moore (1-4, 7.67).

Detroit heads to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex after a 4-2 loss on Sunday afternoon at Kansas City. The defeat was the third for the Tigers in a four-game set with the Royals as Matthew Boyd allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.

John Hicks had both of the Tigers’ RBIs on Sunday with a home run and run-scoring single.

Detroit was without Miguel Cabrera, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with a strained right hamstring. The Tigers also were without Jeimer Candelario (jammed right thumb) and Nicholas Castellanos, who was hit with a flu bug that has been going through the Tigers’ clubhouse. Castellanos missed his first game of the year.

Hicks said the flu was rampant among the Tigers because they are such a tight-knit group.

“It’s tough in a locker room like this, where you’re so close to everybody,” Hicks explained. “Things can get passed around really easily. I try to stay away from the guys that have it, but you just get your rest and try to be as healthy as you can.”

So far, Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said he hasn’t been affected by the bug.

“I don’t kiss anybody,” Gardenhire said. “It happened at home. You know when you’re in a clubhouse like this and you’re around everybody all the time, it happens.”

The Rangers dropped a 6-1 decision to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday as Chris Sale dominated Texas, allowing four hits while striking out 12.

Texas lost three of four games to Boston and is now a dismal 5-15 at home. But the way Red Sox pitchers performed in the four games, any team would have struggled, no matter where the games were played.

Rangers hitters struck out 52 times in the four games (14 on Sunday), and they lead the American League with 356 through 36 games.

Texas manager Jeff Banister said the plethora of punch outs by Boston pitchers was the result of a young Rangers lineup getting on-the-job training.

“That is a quality starting staff,” Banister told MLB.com about Boston’s pitchers. “Obviously, look at their record, who they are, what they run out there. They got really good stuff and their bullpen is extremely tough.

“Listen, young or not, it is part of it. There is some youth on the field, but we’ve faced some quality pitchers along the way with the same set of guys on the field. It’s part of the process.”

Fulmer will make his seventh start of the season in the series opener at Texas. In his most recent start, on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, he turned in his third consecutive quality start but did not factor into the decision, allowing two runs and six hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings.

Fulmer has made two career starts against the Rangers, both at Globe Life Park, and has a 1-1 record with a 3.21 ERA and 11 strikeouts. He last faced Texas on Aug. 14, 2017, and took the loss, giving up five runs, seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five innings.

Moore will make his seventh start and eighth appearance of the season. He will be pitching on the regular four days of rest after taking the loss in the Rangers’ 12-4 setback on Wednesday in Cleveland. In that game, he set a career high for runs and earned runs allowed as his ERA spiked from a season-low 5.33 to 7.67.

Moore has made just two career starts against the Tigers, going 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in two outings in Detroit while playing for Tampa Bay. His most recent start there was June 4, 2013.