ARLINGTON, Texas — Javier Báez hit an RBI single in each of the first two innings and Jeimer Candelario hit for a two-barrel homer against Dallas Keuchel and helped the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 11-2 on Saturday night.
Eric Haase hit a sacrificial fly from Keuchel and then added a two-run homer during Detroit’s ninth three-run.
Eduardo Rodriguez (3-3) won his second straight start since returning to the Tigers after a three-month absence with a rib cage injury and time on the suspended list to attend to family issues. Six days after throwing five scoreless innings against the Los Angeles Angels in his first big-league start since May 18, the left-hander limited Texas to one run and six hits in six innings.
“He had to fight a bit. He wasn’t perfectly sharp, he might not have been at his best, but he did enough to keep us where we were,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “And we kept scoring for him.”
Rangers right fielder Adolis García extended his winning streak to 23 games, the longest active streak in the majors and the longest in the American League this season. García scored in the sixth and led off the ninth on his 21st homer.
Keuchel (2-8) allowed seven runs and 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander, 34, batted and walked while throwing 69 of his 96 pitches for strikes.
“That was a tough nut to crack. I mean physically I felt great. And that was the main part that came in,” Keuchel said. “It was like death by a thousand cuts. … getting a weak contact and things I want to do.
Rangers signed Keuchel to a minor league deal on July 25, and the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner was 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Round Rock before committing to that one Joined the big league team over the weekend. He started for the Chicago White Sox and Arizona earlier this season before being fired by both teams.
His first start for the Diamondbacks was also against Detroit, who went four runs and six hits two months ago over 4 1/3 innings. Keuchel and Hinch were in Houston together from 2015 to 2018, including a World Series title in 2017.
“He threw a lot of punches, which he usually does in and around the punching zone. He’s trying to make you hunt,” Hinch said. “He used to pump in strikes. We were pretty aggressive with him. … His coming out, it was dictated by us to continue to press.”
Detroit stayed on top as Báez played in Victor Reyes and then scored in Willi Castro’s singles. It was 4-1 in the second inning after Reyes had a victim fly and Báez, who had just two RBIs in his previous 16 games, had an infield single that drove in one run.
Candelario’s 11th homer was a 418-foot drive to center for a 7-1 lead, just two batters before Keuchel’s exit. Candelario, one of eight Detroit batters with multiple hits, also had an RBI fielder’s choice grounder in ninth place.
Garcia is missing the longest MLB scoring streak by a Cuban-born player. Rafael Palmeiro had a 24-game hitting streak with Baltimore in 1994. The only longer hitting streaks in the majors this season are Trea Turner for the Los Angeles Dodgers (26) and Paul Goldschmidt for St. Louis (25). The Texas team record at 28 in 2000 by Gabe Kapler.
Nathaniel Lowe drove first in Texas with the first of his two singles that took his MLB best to 52 hits in 36 games since the All-Star break. … The Tigers had three sacrifice flies and scored multiple runs in flyball outs for the first time this season. After Reyes and Haase, Zack Short added a sac fly in the sixth.
Tigers: RHP Casey Mize, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on June 15, was in Arlington with the team. He had an exam with Rangers team doctor Dr. Keith Meister, who performed the surgery.
Right-hander Drew Hutchinson, 1-4 with a 3.90 ERA in his 11 starts for the Tigers after 10 relief appearances, is setting up the finals. Kohei Arihara is making only his third start for Texas after going 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA since being called up by Triple-A Round Rock.