ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) This wasn't one of those planned bullpen days for Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, but quickly became one after two more of their pitchers got hurt.
Tigers starter Matthew Boyd and reliever Will Vest both exited within the first two innings, before Andy Ibañez and Jake Rogers homered in a 7-2 win over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers on Monday night.
“Tough night to navigate with all the pitching," Hinch said. “We did a great job, but losing two guys that early was painful.”
The Tigers already have nine pitchers on the injured list, though right-hander Matt Manning (right foot fracture) is expected to be activated to start Tuesday night. Plus, they had used seven pitchers in a 10-inning loss Sunday.
After Boyd (left elbow discomfort) and Vest (right knee discomfort) combined to strike out five of the seven batters they faced, the four relievers that followed struck out 11 more with three walks over 7 1/3 innings in which they allowed only one run. The 16 strikeouts were the most against the Rangers this season.
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said the quick and frequent pitching changes shouldn't be an excuse for his team's struggles.
“We’re not going to make that be the issue tonight,” Bochy said. “They still have to get the ball over the plate and we have to swing the bat. ... I don’t think that had anything to do with it.”
Boyd and Vest were already done before former Rangers utility player Ibañez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the third inning for a 4-1 lead. Rogers added a two-run shot with two outs in the sixth to chase Texas starter Andrew Heaney (5-5).
“We punched back pretty early,” said Rogers, the Tigers catcher. “Getting up three that quick is awesome, especially with the capability of the bullpen after that. It gives them a sigh of relief. ... When you attack hitters and have confidence, you get outs.”
Rookie Mason Englert (3-2), the third Detroit pitcher, allowed one run over 2 1/3 innings. The right-hander from Forney, Texas, about 40 miles from Globe Life Field, was a fourth-round draft pick by the Rangers in 2018, and acquired by the Tigers in the Rule 5 draft last offseason.
After giving up a leadoff homer to Marcus Semien, left-hander Boyd struck out the next two batters before a 2-0 pitch to Adolis García that went well over the head of catcher Rogers.
Vest struck out Garcia on three pitches to finish the first. Tight-hander allowed a leadoff double to start the second before two strikeouts, then landed awkwardly on a 1-1 pitch.
"It’s natural to kind of be frustrated,” Hinch said. “For me in game, I will go right to like who’s up next and what we need to do to get out of this situation that we’re in.”
Then came that “not again” thought once he got back to the dugout.
“It’s disappointing for those guys that had to come out of the game,” he said. "But the game goes on.”
Both aching pitchers will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
Heaney allowed six runs over 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and three walks.
García led off the fourth with his 18th homer, and his 61st RBI that ranked second in the majors. Semien's third leadoff homer was his 11th overall this season.
Rangers rookie 3B Josh Jung struck out four times, his second four-K game in a week. He has struck out 16 times in his last 25 plate appearances. ... The Rangers, coming off a 3-3 trip against the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, have lost six of their last nine home games.
Tigers: Left-hander Tarik Skubal (left elbow strain) is set to pitch in a game for Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday, with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (left index finger) set to make a rehab appearance there the following day. ... Hinch said OF Riley Greene (left fibula stress reaction) is expected to hit again Tuesday and Wednesday before the Tigers determine the next step.
The Rangers honored retiring Miguel Cabrera before the opener of his final scheduled series in Texas. Detroit’s DH was presented a custom leather horse saddle from Texas left-hander Martín Pérez, who is also from Venezuela. Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodríguez presented a framed gift with photos of them together throughout their careers, including time as teammates with the Florida Marlins and at MLB All-Star games.
Manning (1-1, 4.63 ERA) hasn't pitched since going on the 60-day IL after his last start April 11. Rangers left-hander Martín Pérez (7-3, 4.38) has only one win in his four June starts.
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