Posted August 09, 2012 on AP on Fox
In a trend that began last postseason, the Texas Rangers have had little trouble beating the Detroit Tigers. They seem poised to continue that success now that Scott Feldman is suddenly pitching dominant ball. Feldman looks to win his seventh straight decision in Friday night's series opener between the AL West-leading Rangers and visiting Tigers. After a day off following Wednesday's 10-9 win over Boston to conclude a 4-2 trip, Texas (65-45) begins a stretch of 20 straight days with a game. The Rangers, who own a 5 1/2-game lead over second-place Oakland, do have the advantage of playing 13 of those games in Arlington. They're an AL-best 34-21 at home. Texas also has to like the fact that Feldman (6-6, 4.52 ERA) has posted a 1.19 ERA in winning his last three starts, and is 6-0 with a 2.81 ERA in his last seven appearances, which includes a victory in relief. With his victory in Kansas City on Saturday, Feldman became the first pitcher since Doyle Alexander in 1983 to win six consecutive decisions after starting the season 0-6. "It's been very timely,'' manager Ron Washington said after the right-hander limited the Royals to two runs in 7 2-3 innings. "He's been our security blanket, really.'' Feldman, who threw a scoreless inning of relief in Detroit in April, tossed 5 2-3 scoreless innings over three relief appearances in last season AL championship series against the Tigers. The Rangers took the ALCS in six games, and have won five of seven meetings in 2012. Detroit (60-52), which has lost five of seven on the road, arrives in Texas after blowing a late lead in Thursday's 4-3 loss to the New York Yankees to conclude a seven-game homestand. The Tigers, one game behind Chicago for the AL Central lead, dropped their final two games with the Yankees after winning six in a row overall. "It doesn't get any easier,'' manager Jim Leyland said. Facing Texas certainly won't get any easier with Josh Hamilton swinging a hot bat again. The 2010 AL MVP homered and drove in four runs Wednesday, and is batting .326 with 12 RBIs in his last 10 games. He hit .149 with 10 RBIs in his previous 19. "He's the heart of the lineup,'' said Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, who is 6 for 11 with a homer in his last three games. "When he's doing good, everybody's seeing more pitches to hit and drive runners in.'' The Rangers are 20-4 in games when Hamilton has at least two RBIs, but one of those losses came against Detroit. He has four homers and eight RBIs in the season series. David Murphy is batting .467 with two home runs and seven RBIs against the Tigers this season, while Ian Kinsler also has two homers and has driven in seven. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, who is hitting .324 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last eight games, is batting .357 with a homer and six RBIs against the Rangers this year. He is 7 for 10 with two homers and two doubles lifetime against Feldman. The Tigers counter with Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.72), who hasn't faced the Rangers since Game 6 of the ALCS, when he gave up six runs in 2 1-3 innings as Texas won 15-5 to take the pennant. Scherzer gave up four runs and a season-high tying 10 hits in five innings of Sunday's 10-8, 10-inning victory over Cleveland. It was the second straight shaky outing for the righty, who has yielded nine runs in his last two starts after recording a 2.54 ERA in his previous seven.

Rangers will limit Nathan to save opportunities

No longer will the Texas Rangers turn to Joe Nathan to protect four- or five-run ninth-inning leads, even if manager Ron Washington considers them the equivalent of save situations. The Rangers think Nathan's arm is too precious to potentially foul up with extra use. The decision came in light of Nathan's recent minor health scare in which he had a bit of shoulder inflammation...

Cruz leaves game with lower back stiffness

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz left Friday night's game against Detroit because of lower back stiffness. Cruz appeared to get hurt in the seventh inning when he dived in an attempt to catch a ball hit by Austin Jackson. The ball bounced in front of Cruz, then over his glove and rolled to the wall as Jackson rounded the bases for the first inside...

BP Unfiltered: Yu Darvish with Two Strikes by Dan Brooks

One way to look at how a pitcher attacks hitters is to look at what the pitcher throws in two-strike counts. In two-strike counts, pitchers often try to put hitters away with a breaking ball, induce weak contact with a sinker, overpower hitters with an extra-hard fastball, or throw a changeup with a bit of extra screw action. I hadn’t seen Yu Darvish pitch in quite some time,...

Jim Leyland: Miguel Cabrera deserves MVP over ‘Wonderboy’ Mike Trout

Miguel Cabrera is having an outstanding season for the Tigers. It’s the type of season we have come to expect from the 29-year-old over his 13-year career. Cabrera has 29 homers to go along with 95 RBI. His batting average is an impressive .322 and his on-base percentage is a solid .384. There is still a lot of baseball left to be played, but Cabrera is a definite American League...

Game 2012.112: Yankees at Tigers

Detroit Tigers, 60-51, 2nd place, .5 back. Too many runs.  Too many runs finally ended the Tiger win streak last night, although the bats kept going and kept them in the game. There were some things to like about last night:  the offense plated 8 runs, Jeff Baker’s Detroit debut was a success (“looks like he knows what the bat is for,” said Leyland), Dirks and Boesch continue...

Doug Fister is Starting to Look Like Mike Mussina

When Doug Fister broke into the big leagues, he was a soft-tossing, pitch-to-contact change-up artist, who threw strikes with mediocre stuff and projected as a back-of-the-rotation innings eater or a bullpen guy. He wasn’t bad, but the lack of a quality breaking ball and his reliance on his change as an out-pitch meant that he didn’t have anything to strike out right-handed...

Granderson, Jackson blockbuster a win for all parties

DETROIT -- Detroit Tigers fans were stunned on December 9, 2009, when fan favorite Curtis Granderson was traded to the New York Yankees. Nearly three years later, with the Tigers wrapping up their regular-season series with the Yankees, it's a chance to look back and see how the three teams involved in the deal did. The Yankees sent Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy...

Angels-Rangers Baseball's Best Rivalry Right Now?

Derek Wangler The past 2 seasons the Texas Rangers have been the AL’s representative in the World Series. The Rangers have lost both of those World Series. This offseason it seemed that the rival LA Angels were tired of watching the playoffs and decided to do something about that by throwing huge money at Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. The Rangers countered the Angels huge moves...

Tigers can’t complete comeback and drop slug fest to the Yankees 12-8

Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers dug themselves an early hole that they simply couldn’t dig themselves out of as they dropped a 12-8 decision to the New York Yankees Wednesday night ending their winning streak at six games. Sanchez, who was making his third start for Detroit since coming over from the Marlins simply wasn’t sharp, in fact he was downright awful allowing seven...

Game 112: Boston Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers

Time: 1:35 PM ET TV/Radio: NESN, MLB Network / WEEI For more sport betting action and predictions. Red Sox (55-56) Ellsbury CF Crawford LF Pedroia 2B Gonzalez 1B Ross RF Middlebrooks 3B Lavarnway DH Shoppach C Ciriaco SS Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (5-9, 4.54) Rangers (64-45) Kinsler 2B Andrus SS Hamilton CF Beltre 3B Cruz RF Young DH Murphy LF Soto C Moreland 1B Pitching: LHP...

Tigers snap two-game skid with 6-2 win over Rangers

Austin Jackson’s inside the park home run helped the Tigers defeat the Texas Rangers 6-2 Friday night ending a two game skid. Jackson’s first career inside the park homer run (and first for the Tigers since 1977) came when Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz missed a diving catch in the 7th that rolled all the way to the wall. The Jackson home run was the caper of six unanswered runs...

Still happy with Prince?

Early last offseason before Victor Martinez blew out his knee, the Tigers had a big glaring hole at third base named Brandon Inge.  One of the free agents that they could, and should, have made a run at was Aramis Ramirez from the Cubs who instead ended up in Milwaukee hitting behind Ryan Braun. Ramirez signed a three-year deal with the Brewers for $36 million with a mutual option...
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