Heineman makes MLB Debut as Rangers defeat Tigers 5-4
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Texas reliever José Leclerc hung on for a save, then fired the ball onto the right field roof at Globe Life Park after the Texas Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on Friday night.
The Tigers scored twice in a messy ninth inning and had runners on second and third with two outs when Jeimer Candelario hit a grounder to first baseman Danny Santana, who flipped to Leclerc covering the bag to end it.
Leclerc took a couple of steps and let fly, the ball sailing far over the seats.
Last Sunday, agitated Cleveland pitcher Trevor Bauer threw the ball from just past the mound over the center field wall after getting pulled from a game at Kansas City. Bauer was fined by Major League Baseball and later traded to San Diego.
Lynn allowed four hits, only one past the first inning. He retired 10 straight after falling behind 1-0 five batters in on three singles.
Leclerc got his sixth save and first since April 17.
The Tigers, with the majors’ worst record at 32-73, came off a Wednesday win in Anaheim and failed for the 10th straight time to win consecutive games. Detroit’s most recent winning streak is the last three games of May.
Tyler Alexander (0-2), who pitched collegiately at TCU in nearby Fort Worth, allowed four runs on 10 hits in making his fourth big league start.
After a two-out RBI single by Harold Castro in the first inning, Lynn didn’t allow another baserunner until Travis Demeritte, making his major league debut, walked to lead off the fifth. Demeritte tripled down the left-field line in the seventh for his first hit.
Danny Santana had a single, a triple, a sacrifice fly and scored twice in the Rangers’ first game this month after he hit .391 in July.
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Each team’s No. 7 hitter made his major league debut – Tigers right fielder Demeritte and Rangers center fielder Scott Heineman.
Demeritte, 24, was a first-round draftee of Texas in 2013 and was acquired by Detroit on Wednesday in the trade that sent RHP Shane Greene to Atlanta. He hit 20 home runs in 96 games for the Braves‘ Triple-A affiliate. He went 1 for 2 with two walks.
Heineman, 26, was recalled from Triple-A Nashville, where he hit .372 in 33 games. He was drafted by the Rangers in the 11th round in 2015. He went 2 for 4 with a fourth-inning flare to right off the end of the bat for his first hit.
The Tigers are 3-17 against AL West teams this season and 3-25 since last Aug. 3. . . Detroit DH Miguel Cabrera‘s single in the eighth gave him 1,676 RBIs, tying him for 26th place with Gary Sheffield. . . Texas selected the contract of RHP Emmanuel Clase from Double-A Frisco and optioned LHP Kyle Bird and RHP Phillips Valdez to Nashville.
Tigers RHP Spencer Turnbull (upper back strain) is likely to make one more rehab start.
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