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Jun 4, 2024 1:29 am

Jack Flaherty, Tigers aim to keep rolling vs. Rangers

Jack Flaherty, Tigers

The win-loss record doesn’t reflect how dominant Jack Flaherty has been this season for the Detroit Tigers, who continue their three-game series against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas.

Detroit is seeking its third straight win after beating Texas 2-1 on Monday. Catcher Jake Rogers hit a pair of solo home runs for the Tigers, who improved to 30-30.

“He was our offense,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said of Rogers. “The offense was huge for him, and then navigating the traffic is really hard. You’re trying to lead your pitching staff through a difficult top part of that lineup, and then it seemed like there were runners on base the entire time. He worked through it.”

Texas manager Bruce Bochy missed the game due to what the team said was a “scheduled personal matter.” Associate manager Will Venable filled in for Bochy, who is expected to return on Tuesday.

The Rangers will look to even the series after going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Monday.

“The guys did a good job,” Venable said. “We had some opportunities there and just weren’t able to get that extra hit.”

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager had two singles on Monday to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. Seager also has a 26-game on-base streak.

Texas will try to bounce back against Flaherty (2-4, 3.46 ERA), who recorded his sixth straight quality start on Thursday. He allowed one hit over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a 5-0 road win over the Boston Red Sox.

“I’ve seen a pretty good version of Jack Flaherty, but this might be his best game, just given the ballpark, given the atmosphere and the variety of pitches he threw,” Hinch said. “I thought Jack handled himself great and he handled their lineup exceptionally well.”

Flaherty, 28, has yielded a total of 10 runs across 38 1/3 innings over his past six outings (2.35 ERA) while recording 54 strikeouts and six walks. He owns a 1.50 ERA in two career appearances against Texas, starts in 2019 and 2023.

Texas will counter with right-hander Dane Dunning (4-3, 3.94), who will make his third start after missing nearly three weeks with a rotator cuff strain.

Dunning, 29, allowed three hits over five scoreless innings while throwing 92 pitches in a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks last Wednesday.

“I definitely got a little fatigued,” said Dunning, who had just recovered from a sinus infection. “When I came out of the game, I felt like I ran a half-marathon. I think it affected me a little bit more than I thought it was going to.”

Javier Baez is 2-for-11 against Dunning, who is 1-3 with a 4.34 ERA in seven career starts vs. the Tigers. Dunning gave up two runs (one earned) over five-plus frames in a no-decision at Detroit on April 17.

Detroit outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy made his major league debut on Monday and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Malloy was recalled from Triple-A Toledo, where he was batting .253 with six homers and 27 RBIs.

First baseman Spencer Torkelson, the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, was optioned to Toledo to make room for Malloy. Torkelson hit .201 with four homers, 18 RBIs and a 56-to-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 54 games. He was mired in a 3-for-40 slump at the time of his demotion.

–Field Level Media

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