Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

Rangers 9, Tigers 2

DETROIT — Shin-Soo Choo homered, Chris Gimenez had four hits and the Rangers rolled to a 9-2 victory over the slumping Tigers on Thursday.

Yu Darvish allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking three.

"You just want to go out there and give yourself a chance, hope your pitching staff gives you a chance," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We understand not every day we're going to be able to put nine runs up, especially against this team."

The Rangers broke through quickly against Detroit rookie Robbie Ray, who lasted 3 1/3 innings. Ray allowed seven runs, nine hits and four walks, and the AL Central-leading Tigers lost their fourth straight.

Ian Kinsler, who was traded to Detroit for Fielder in an offseason blockbuster, went 1-for-3 in his first game against the Rangers.

The Tigers breezed to a 27-12 start before being swept in a three-game series at Cleveland. Star right-handers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer were both knocked around in that series, and a 13-inning finale against the Indians taxed the bullpen.

Ray's start Thursday made the situation worse, and infielder Danny Worth ended up pitching the ninth for Detroit. Worth, throwing a knuckleball, struck out two in a scoreless frame.

"That was a lot of fun," Worth said. "Obviously, you don't ever want to be needed in that spot, but once I got out there, I enjoyed it."

Alex Rios opened the scoring with an RBI double off Ray in the second, and Gimenez drove him home with a single. Adrian Beltre added a two-run double the following inning and later scored to make it 5-0.

In half of Darvish's first eight starts, the Rangers failed to provide a single run of support. That wasn't a problem Thursday. Choo's two-run homer in the fourth chased Ray, and Michael Choice's two-run single later that inning gave the Rangers a nine-run lead.

Gimenez, a former Ray, had never even had a three-hit game before Thursday. Not only did he contribute offensively, but he also had little trouble behind the plate. It was his first time catching Darvish and his tricky array of pitches.

"He let me do whatever I wanted to do," Darvish said through a translator. "So I felt really good."

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