Rangers look to extend power surge vs. Tigers

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Field Level Media
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Jun 27, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Ezequiel Duran (20) follows through on his home run against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning at Globe Life Field.
Jun 27, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Ezequiel Duran (20) follows through on his home run against the Detroit Tigers during the eighth inning at Globe Life Field.
Image: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers got things trending in the right direction on Tuesday, breaking open a tie game with five runs in the eighth inning to beat the Detroit Tigers 8-3

Now they will try to carry that momentum into the third of a four-game series on Wednesday in Arlington, Texas.

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The Tigers, meanwhile, are trying to find ways to stay in games despite a depleted bullpen and injury woes. The latest blow came on Tuesday when news surfaced that left-handed starter Matthew Boyd would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow

However, as Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver said, momentum is only as good as your next day's starter. And the Tigers are the only team that has handed Rangers scheduled starter Dane Dunning (6-1, 2.76 ERA) a loss this season

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Detroit knocked off the visiting Rangers on May 31 as Dunning allowed three runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts over five-plus innings. In five career starts vs. Detroit, Dunning is 0-3 with a 5.70 ERA

Overall this season, Dunning has pitched well since stepping into the rotation once Texas lost Jacob deGrom to injury. Dunning is 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA in nine starts. In his latest start, on the road against the New York Yankees on Friday, Dunning got a no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts over seven-plus innings.

On offense, the Rangers appeared to find their rhythm once again on Tuesday with the late rally. Ezequiel Duran received praise for winning a 12-pitch at-bat against Tigers rookie Brendan White and belting the go-ahead home run

"That was an impressive at-bat, wasn't it?" Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. "He got one he could handle. He smoked it.

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Bochy went on to say the Rangers had several good at-bats on the night, including pinch-hit RBI hits by Josh Jung and Leody Taveras in the sixth. Adolis Garcia also delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth

"That's what we've been missing," Bochy said.

Detroit will try to bounce back behind left-hander Joey Wentz (1-8, 6.72 ERA). Wentz has pitched better of late than his record might suggest as the Tigers have scored a combined one run in his past two starts. In a June 17 outing at Minnesota, for instance, Wentz took the loss despite allowing just two runs on two hits and striking out nine over six innings

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Wentz will be making his second career appearance against the Rangers. When he went up against Dunning on May 31, Wentz emerged with a no-decision after allowing one run on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings

The Tigers would welcome a longer outing than that by Wentz on Wednesday. As manager A.J. Hinch said following Tuesday's game, "The bullpen is taxed.

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The Detroit offense had a couple of bright spots on Tuesday. Spencer Torkelson hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth, and Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single to open the scoring.

Hinch liked seeing Torkelson come through after a recent skid, although he said the first baseman has a scheduled day off coming on Wednesday. As far as Cabrera seeing more playing time, Hinch was noncommittal.

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"I'll put the lineup out every day," Hinch said. "Miggy's contributing, which is what we're asking out of him."

--Field Level Media