Bullpen collapse extends Tigers' losing streak to six
DETROIT (AP) -- Justin Verlander backed up his bold tweet with an impressive performance.
Then the Detroit bullpen let it go to waste.
Bobby Wilson hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the eighth inning against the team that just traded him away, and the Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers with an 8-3 victory Sunday. After being shut out for seven innings by Verlander, the Rangers broke through against relievers Justin Wilson and Mark Lowe for seven runs in the eighth.
"Justin did an outstanding job, but we just didn't finish it off," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "It seems like every day, there is one part of our game that just isn't clicking. Today, it was the bullpen, but on other days, it has been the hitting or the starters."
Wilson didn't hit any home runs for the Tigers before they dealt him to Texas on Tuesday. His first shot of the season sent Detroit to its sixth straight loss.
Verlander was impressive, rebounding nicely after allowing seven runs to Cleveland on Tuesday. Following that performance, a message on Verlander's Twitter account said: "I'm going to dominate soon! I'm close. Doubt me if you want... We'll see."
The right-hander backed up those words, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out nine.
"Obviously, one start doesn't dictate dominating, especially when we don't win," Verlander said. "I sent that out because that's the way I felt. I feel like every start's getting better and better. The numbers didn't show it."
Lowe (1-1) and Wilson had been pretty reliable in relief, but couldn't hold a 2-0 lead in the eighth. After two singles got a rally going, Adrian Beltre greeted Lowe with an RBI single. One out later, Ian Desmond tied it with a sacrifice fly.
An intentional walk and a hit batter loaded the bases for Wilson, who sent a drive over the fence in left. Delino DeShields followed with a home run to make it 7-2.
By the time DeShields finished rounding the bases, fans had been booing and streaming toward the exits.
Wilson was traded from Texas to Detroit in March. After playing five games for the Tigers, he was dealt back to the Rangers for minor league pitcher Chad Bell. Wilson became expendable because James McCann was coming off the disabled list for Detroit, and the Tigers had no reason to think he'd make such a big impact against them for the Rangers.
On Friday, Wilson had two hits for Texas in a win over Detroit, and he added three more Sunday.
"It's been a lot of travel, but it was very satisfying to come back here and play well, and for this team as well," Wilson said. "I was really excited. That's my first big league grand slam, and to do it in that kind of situation -- you know, the team that just traded you away a few days ago -- like I said, it felt really, really good."
Texas starter Martin Perez allowed two runs and two hits in six innings. He struck out seven but walked five.
Miguel Cabrera opened the scoring with an RBI double in the third, and Justin Upton drew a bases-loaded walk later that inning.
LONG TIME COMING
This was the first Texas sweep of Detroit in a series of at least three games since August 2004. Since the start of the 2005 season, the Rangers had swept every other American League team in a series of at least three games.
ONE OR THE OTHER
Upton walked twice and struck out twice, his second straight game without a ball in play. He walked twice and struck out three times Saturday.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish (right elbow surgery) has his next rehab start scheduled for Thursday with Triple-A Round Rock. ... OF Shin-Soo Choo (right calf strain) said he expects to go to Arizona and begin work there Tuesday. ... SS Elvis Andrus stayed in the game after being hit in the left elbow by a pitch in the eighth.
Tigers: Cameron Maybin (left wrist fracture) started in CF on Saturday night on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo. He went 1 for 4 and scored a run.
Rangers: Texas returns home to start a three-game series with the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox on Monday night. Colby Lewis (2-0) takes the mound for the Rangers against Miguel Gonzalez (0-0).
Tigers: Detroit heads to Washington for a three-game set. Anibal Sanchez (3-3) starts Monday night for the Tigers against Stephen Strasburg (5-0).