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Jun 2, 2024 11:57 pm

Rangers starting to click with Tigers up next

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May wasn’t especially kind to the Texas Rangers and right fielder Adolis Garcia. There are encouraging signs that June might be a different story, though.

After recording consecutive shutouts for the first time since 2016, Texas begins a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers in Arlington, Texas, on Monday.

The Tigers earned a split of their four-game series against the Boston Red Sox with an 8-4 victory in 10 innings on Sunday.

The Rangers have opened June with back-to-back victories after going 11-16 in May. Garcia homered and singled in a run in Texas’ 6-0 win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

“If we play our game and pitch like we’re capable of pitching, we can play with anybody,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “And they believe that. They’re world champions.”

Shortstop Corey Seager continues to swing a hot bat for Texas, which won three of four games against Detroit from April 15-18. Seager owns a 15-game hitting streak and has also reached base in 25 straight games.

Garcia hit .165 with four home runs in 25 games last month, but he snapped an 0-for-19 slump and recorded his first multi-hit game since May 15 on Sunday.

“It’s good to get Adolis going,” Bochy said. “We need him going. He’s hitting cleanup, a big part of the lineup, a guy who does a lot of damage. It was good to see him break out and have a nice game.”

Monday’s series opener features a stellar pitching matchup between Texas right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 2.84 ERA) and Detroit left-hander Tarik Skubal (7-1, 2.01).

Eovaldi allowed two runs over three innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Tuesday. He was activated from the 15-day injured list (right groin) before the game to make his first start since May 2.

Eovaldi is 4-0 with a 3.24 ERA in six career starts against Detroit.

Skubal struck out eight over seven scoreless innings in an 8-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates last Wednesday. He turned in an impressive outing after having his 14-game unbeaten streak come to an end in his previous start.

“That may have been the best pitching performance we’ve seen so far this year,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I think he was 22-for-24 first-pitch strikes (with) command of everything on all parts of the plate. He really threw the ball well.”

Seager is 4-for-6 against Skubal, who is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in three career starts vs. Texas.

Detroit outfielder/designated hitter Mark Canha returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing two games with left hip soreness. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI, a run and a stolen base in the victory.

The Tigers are expected to promote outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy from Triple-A Toledo prior to Monday’s game. The 24-year-old Malloy is hitting .253 with six home runs for Toledo this season.

Malloy’s arrival could result in a demotion for Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson, who is mired in a 3-for-40 slump after hitting 31 home runs last season.

Torkelson has hit .201 with four home runs in 54 games this season.

“When you’re not seeing the ball well, it feels like you’re getting one pitch a game to do damage with, and that’s what it feels like,” Torkelson said. “And then when you’re hot, it feels like every single pitch you get that’s in the strike zone is a meatball. It’s just getting back to that.”

–Field Level Media

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