Tigers-Rangers Preview

Based on Doug Fister’s short, but telling, road history in

Texas, the Rangers should feel confident they can get the best of

another Detroit Tigers starting pitcher.

The surging Rangers look to build on another strong offensive

performance against Fister and the struggling Tigers on Sunday

night.

Elvis Andrus had a career-high five hits, Mitch Moreland homered

and Texas (28-15) tagged Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez for six runs and

nine hits in 2 2-3 innings of Saturday’s 7-2 victory. The Rangers

have won 11 of 15 and totaled 17 runs and 23 hits in their two

victories in the first three games of this set.

The Tigers (23-18), who won 2-1 on Friday, have dropped seven of

11 since winning nine of 10. Detroit also has lost 10 of 13,

including the playoffs, at Texas.

Fister (5-1, 3.06 ERA) has made only two starts at Texas, but

he’s lost both while allowing 14 runs and 19 hits – including five

homers – in nine combined innings.

The right-hander, however, has enjoyed a strong start this

season and allowed two runs in seven innings of a 6-2 win over

Houston on Tuesday. That outing also marked the second time in 2013

that Fister did not record one of his major league-leading 10 hit

batsmen.

Texas counters with Derek Holland (3-2, 2.93), who looks for a

third consecutive victory but hopes for a better performance than

his last outing. Holland allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 2-3

innings of a 6-5, 10-inning win at Oakland on Tuesday.

“He wasn’t putting the ball in the same spots he had been,”

manager Ron Washington told the Rangers’ official website. “I don’t

know if he lost his focus, but he just wasn’t in tune with the game

anymore. It looked like it almost got out of control for him.”

The left-hander is 1-1 with a 1.57 ERA in three home starts this

season. He’s posted a 4.26 ERA without a decision in four starts,

including the playoffs, versus Detroit.

Andrus was 1 for 11 in the previous three games before he broke

out Saturday. He hit in the leadoff spot for a second straight game

as second baseman Ian Kinsler sat again with sore ribs.

“The only thing I’m concerned about is Elvis leading the team

and he’s taking advantage of it,” Washington said. “Ian Kinsler

has not been Wally Pipped.”

Washington is uncertain if Kinsler will be ready to go in the

finale.

“He’s still a little tender,” Washington said. “We’ll give him

another day and reassess Sunday.”

Moreland is batting .364 in his last six games versus

Detroit.

Though the Tigers have batted .215 and totaled 13 runs while

losing three of four, star Miguel Cabrera leads the majors with a

.373 average and is batting .412 during a 16-game road hitting

streak.

Teammate Prince Fielder, however, is 3 for 24 (.125) with one

RBI in his last seven contests. He’s 2 for 15 in his last five road

games against the Rangers.