Tigers' skid reaches five

May 7, 2016

DETROIT (AP) -- Mike Pelfrey squandered a good chance to earn his first victory since joining the Detroit Tigers.

Pelfrey allowed three homers, including a tying two-run shot by Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning that helped the Texas Rangers rally for a 10-5 victory on Saturday. The Tigers led 5-2 before Texas scored five runs in the sixth.

"I'm embarrassed," Pelfrey said. "These guys gave me a three-run lead in the sixth inning and I couldn't hold it. That's on me. I feel terrible."

Beltre hit two of Texas' five homers. Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara and Mitch Moreland also went deep for the Rangers, who overcame an injury-shortened start by A.J. Griffin. The right-hander left in the third with stiffness in his throwing shoulder.


With the Tigers up by three entering the sixth, Odor led off with a single and scored on Mazara's double. Beltre, who was going to be Pelfrey's last hitter no matter what happened, then belted an opposite-field homer.

Moreland's two-run shot off Kyle Ryan (0-1) later that inning gave Texas the lead.

Anthony Ranaudo (1-0) got the win. Shawn Tolleson was credited with his 10th save in 12 chances -- he came on to strike out Anthony Gose with the bases loaded for the final out.

Ian Kinsler homered for Detroit, which has lost five straight.

Pelfrey allowed seven hits in five-plus innings, and he is winless in six starts after signing with the Tigers in the offseason. He allowed consecutive homers by Odor and Mazara to start the game.

Detroit took a 3-2 lead in the third on a two-run single by Nick Castellanos, and Kinsler added a two-run homer in the fourth off Ranaudo.

Griffin was pulled after throwing 53 pitches. He allowed three runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out two.

Beltre's tying homer came on an 0-2 pitch by Pelfrey in the sixth, and the Detroit bullpen couldn't stop the Texas onslaught. Beltre hit another two-run shot in the seventh to make it 9-5.

"Any time Beltre shows up in a batter's box or baseball field you look for special things to happen," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "He's monster strong so when he gets the barrel to it, it's loud."

Detroit had men on first and second in the eighth when J.D. Martinez's dribbler to the right of the plate turned into an inning-ending double play. Martinez, believing the ball was foul, didn't run it out and was still near the plate when the Rangers completed the relay from second to first. He and manager Brad Ausmus argued to no avail.


Pelfrey has had his struggles lately, but the home runs he allowed were unusual. He gave up only 11 all of last season.

This was his first time allowing three homers in a game since May 10, 2011, when he was with the New York Mets. And when it happened then, it was in a game at Colorado.

After the two homers to start the game, Pelfrey settled in and allowed only two more baserunners through the end of the fifth. But all that good work was undone in the sixth.

"I wouldn't say it's a step forward or back. We're spinning our wheels a little bit," Ausmus said. "He did some things well. He pitched a stretch of innings where he was very strong, he kept his pitch count down, but ultimately gave up five runs."


Griffin's exit snapped a streak of 33 starts in which he had completed at least five innings. The last time he had gone fewer than five innings in a game was April 22, 2013, at Boston, when he lasted only four. Griffin was pitching for Oakland then.


Rangers: Texas will hope Griffin's shoulder isn't a problem going forward. This year is his first in the majors since 2013. He had elbow surgery in April 2014.

Tigers: Ausmus said OF Cameron Maybin (left wrist fracture) has still been dealing with a bit of soreness.


Rangers: Texas LHP Martin Perez (1-2) takes the mound in the series finale Sunday. The Rangers have given him only 3.09 runs of support per nine innings this season.

Tigers: Justin Verlander (2-3) tries to bounce back Sunday after allowing seven runs against Cleveland on Tuesday.