ARLINGTON -- The key two-out hits were there for the Rangers on Monday night, and so was their aggressive baserunning.Then there was the sheer speed of center fielder Delino DeShields, and that may have been the biggest difference in the Rangers' rally for a 7-6 victory over the Tigers at
ARLINGTON -- The key two-out hits were there for the Rangers on Monday night, and so was their aggressive baserunning.
Then there was the sheer speed of center fielder Delino DeShields, and that may have been the biggest difference in the Rangers' rally for a 7-6 victory over the Tigers at Globe Life Park. The Rangers were down four runs going into the bottom of the sixth against Tigers starter Michael Fulmer before storming back and snapping a three-game losing streak.
"Obviously a win is a win," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "But in the fashion we did, down early, Fulmer throwing the ball extremely well against us. To be on this side of an aggressive baseball game, a game you're [behind], to battle back and actually push through and hold on was key."
DeShields' speed came up big in the seventh after the Tigers took a 6-5 lead with an unearned run in the top of the inning. With two outs in the bottom of the frame, DeShields hit a grounder to shortstop Jose Iglesias, who bobbled it momentarily. DeShields showed off his elite speed to beat out the throw and keep the inning alive. He made it to first at 30.9 feet per second -- above the 30 feet per second elite mark -- and barely beat the throw.
"I just feel like I'm in a position where I'm considered a leader and there are guys who look up to me," DeShields said. "I know this team depends on me to do certain things. When I get on base, anything can happen."
He was just getting warmed up, however. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a grounder to the right side that ticked off the glove of Tigers second baseman Dixon Machado and rolled into right field. Machado chased it down, but DeShields was flying around the bases and ended up scoring from first.
"Busting it down the line, running around the bases," Banister said. "He does run hard. Anytime you're a speed-type player, you put pressure on the defense, you make them make the plays. When they don't make the plays, you take advantage of it. That's what Delino does, that's why he is so impactful in our lineup."
Jurickson Profar followed with a triple to right-center to put the Rangers ahead. On the night, they were 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position after going 1-for-15 during the losing streak. Profar has four game-winning RBIs, most on the club.
The big hits and baserunning were also evident in the sixth, when the Rangers erased the Tigers' 5-1 lead. Again all the runs scored with two outs. Joey Gallo had a two-out RBI double and Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove home two with a double to make it 5-4 and drive Fulmer from the game.
Right-hander Alex Wilson took over to face Ronald Guzman, who smashed one to the right side that Tigers first baseman John Hicks dove and knocked down. Wilson was unable to cover first, so there was no play, and Kiner-Falefa kept running, scoring from second to tie the score.
"[Third-base coach Tony] Beasley told me while the pitcher was warming up, any base hit, I am going to send you," Kiner-Falefa said. "The first baseman made a terrific play, but we had it in our minds to go. Beasley kept his word and sent me."
DESHIELDS DOES IT ALL
In addition to his speed on offense, DeShields showed off his wheels on defense as well, racing to deep center and hauling down Leonys Martin's long drive in the eighth inning. Statcast™ had it as a five-star catch, as he covered 96 feet in 4.9 seconds and had a 19 percent catch probability.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After DeShields made his outstanding catch, Kiner-Falefa dropped a one-out popup in shallow center, allowing Jeimer Candelario to reach first base. After Rangers reliever Jake Diekman walked Nicholas Castellanos, Renato Nunez and Kiner-Falefa combined on an outstanding defensive play.
Victor Martinez hit a smash that Nunez backhanded and fired to Kiner-Falefa for the force. Kiner-Falefa had to make a tough scoop, then threw to first to get the out there. Castellanos was initially ruled safe at second when it appeared Kiner-Falefa's foot came off the bag, but the Rangers challenged and the call was overturned.
"I thought that play was a big key for us … Kiner-Falefa hanging in there like that," Banister said.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Nomar Mazara hit his eighth home run of the year, a ball that smashed off the front of the upper deck in right field. The distance was projected at 437 feet by Statcast™, and the exit velocity was 111.9 mph. That was his second-hardest home run of the year; he hit one against the Mariners on April 22 that registered at 113.5 mph. He has four home runs with an exit velocity of 110 mph or greater. Teammate Gallo has the most in the Majors with six.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With the score tied at 5 and JaCoby Jones at second with two outs in the seventh, Iglesias lofted a fly ball down the right-field line. Mazara had a long run but got to the ball near the foul line, only to have it deflect off his glove. The ball was ruled foul, but the Tigers challenged the play and the call was overturned.
Left-hander Mike Minor pitches against the Tigers at 7:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Globe Life Park. Minor allowed three runs in six innings in a win over the Red Sox on Thursday and will be pitching on four days' rest for the first time this season. Right-hander Mike Fiers will start for the Tigers.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.