Originally written April 23, 2012 on Detroit Sports 360:
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3 HR's for Hamilton in the series It’s safe to say that this past series between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers is one that will try and be quickly forgotten. Coming into this series the Rangers were coming into Comerica Park winners of their past six games in a row. The Tigers had just come a sweep of the Kansas City Royals and winners of their last four. This series had all the build up of two powerhouse American League teams, and it was the rematch of last years ALCS. Unfortunately, it was a lot like last years ALCS — the Tigers would be on the losing end. Game one could be described in one word: Blowout. Adam Wilk was keeping the game close until the fourth, but was always pitching in jams and with runners on. The Rangers were as aggressive as i’d ever seen. Someone got a single, they stole second. Runners on first and second, double steal. The Tigers looked inferior to the Rangers. The game would be blown open in eighth by Daniel Schlereth. Schlereth would allow five runs and completely knock the Tigers out of the game. The Tigers offense didn’t do much. They would be shut down by Yu Darvish who would pitch 6.1 innings of one run ball. The Tigers managed to scrum up two more runs after Darvish departed and lose 10-3. “We’ve got a good team,” manager Jim Leyland said after the 10-3 loss on Friday. “We’re playing good. We just got the crap beat out of us.” Game two was rained out and was made up on Saturday in a day/night doubleheader. Rick Porcello would test his luck against the high powered Rangers’ offense. He would just be another victim. Porcello would give up eight runs in the first inning of the game and be taken out. The Tigers would be blown out 10-4 in the first game of the double header. “I was the most disappointed one in the ballpark today,” Porcello said. “I know I can go out there and beat those guys and pitch well against them. I just wasn’t able to do it today.” Even though the Tigers were blown out there were a few bright spots. Duane Below pitched six scoreless innings of relief and Miguel Cabrera hit his first home run since Easter Sunday. Daniel Schlereth was optioned down to Toledo after the game for Thad Weber who would make his major league debut this series. The Tigers would look to Justin Verlander, as they always have to end a loosing streak. Verlander would answer the call, pitching six scoreless innings before handing the ball over to the pen. Neftali Feliz was as equally as impressive as Verlander, but some clutch two-hitting got the Tigers the lead and the win. In the final game of the series, the impressive rookie Drew Smyly looked to try and get the Tigers split in the series. The Tigers found themselves down early due to another Josh Hamilton home run. Smyly would not give up another run through the rest of his day. Pitching six more strong innings. The Tigers would score two off of Colby Lewis but the lead would be given up by Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning. The game would go to extra’s and a controversial call would end up costing the Tigers. Thad Weber would come on in the top of the eleventh. Making his major league debut. Weber would load the bases, with nobody out. Alberto Gonzalez came to the plate and attempted a bunt. The bunt clearly hit his knee when the replay was shown, which means it was a dead ball, strike one. The call would cost the Tigers a run and perhaps the game. Weber would get an inning ending double play. Limiting the damage to just a run. Joe Nathan, who has never blown a save against the Tigers would come on a keep his streak alive and end the Tigers hopes of earning a split in the series. “It was a little bit of a tough break for us,” Leyland said, “but we didn’t swing the bats good enough. We just didn’t hit very much today.” After an off-day on Monday the Seattle Mariners come to town to wrap up the homestand. The Mariners are coming off the series against the Chicago White Sox, where Phillip Humber pitched a perfect game against them. Pitching Probables Scherzer (1-1) vs. Vargas (2-1) Wilk (0-2) vs. Hernandez (1-1) Porcello (1-1) vs. Noesi (1-2) DS360 Tags: drew smyly, danny schlereth, Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers, Miguel Cabrera

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