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Minor settles in, but early runs prove costly

Veteran lefty fires five scoreless after allowing 5 runs in first two innings
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Mike Minor, after calling an audible on his game plan, finished his outing with a flourish Tuesday night, retiring 16 of the last 19 batters he faced without allowing a run. The three Tigers that reached did so on a double, error and hit batter.

The problem was at the beginning of the night. Minor gave up six hits, including three home runs, to the first nine batters as the Tigers opened up a five-run lead by the second inning and held on for a 7-4 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Mike Minor, after calling an audible on his game plan, finished his outing with a flourish Tuesday night, retiring 16 of the last 19 batters he faced without allowing a run. The three Tigers that reached did so on a double, error and hit batter.

The problem was at the beginning of the night. Minor gave up six hits, including three home runs, to the first nine batters as the Tigers opened up a five-run lead by the second inning and held on for a 7-4 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

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"The first two innings didn't go as planned, and we made some pitches we talked about before the game that we thought were good, but obviously they made an adjustment, too," Minor said. "So we kind of had to adjust. It was really frustrating because I put some balls where I wanted to, and I felt like they were all over them."

Minor was making his fifth start at home and was 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at Globe Life Park. He also had allowed just two home runs in 22 innings at home and three in 33 innings overall.

All of that changed quickly the first time through the Tigers' lineup. Minor retired JaCoby Jones on a flyout to start the game, but Jeimer Candelario hit a 1-0 changeup over the center-field fence for a home run. After Nicholas Castellanos reached on an infield single, Victor Martinez went deep to left field for a two-run home run.

"They were looking for stuff," Minor said. "I don't think they were sitting on anything. Even the one where we made a pretty good pitch, they were still putting the barrel on it."

The bottom third of the Tigers' lineup struck in the second inning, as Niko Goodrum led off with a single and Jose Iglesias hit his first home run of the season, clearing the right-field fence. Prior to this outing, Minor had held the bottom three spots of opposing lineups to just three hits in 37 at-bats.

"Looked like they came out aggressive, hunting the outer part of the plate," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Had some well-struck baseballs. I think [Minor] and [catcher Carlos] Perez made a nice adjustment getting back in on these hitters, making them honor the inside part of the plate. And then able to use the slider/changeup combo."

Dixon Machado, the Tigers' No. 9 hitter, reached on a single with nobody out in the second, and that's when Minor's night turned around. Jones flied out, and Candelario grounded into an inning-ending double play, and Minor followed that up with five scoreless innings.

Video: DET@TEX: Minor induces 6-4-3 double play in the 2nd

"It was just frustrating, because it was too late," Minor said. "Obviously, the beginning of the game [stunk], so to rattle off five more zeroes there was huge for me and the team."

The Rangers mounted a late charge off a home run by Jurickson Profar and a pair of RBI singles by Adrian Beltre in his return to the Rangers' lineup. But they weren't able to overcome the head start the Tigers had against Minor or the tack-on runs late against relievers Alex Claudio and Kevin Jepsen.

Beltre collects three hits, two RBIs in return to lineup

Video: DET@TEX: Beltre tallies 3 hits and 2 RBIs in return

SOUND SMART
Beltre was 2-for-2 with runners in scoring position in this game. He was 0-for-14 in those situations before going on the disabled list. His two RBIs gave him 1,652 for his career, tying him with Tony Perez for 27th all-time.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Profar's home run in the fifth inning extended the Rangers' streak, as they have now hit a home run in 12 straight games, matching the Yankees (April 13-27) for the longest in MLB this season.

Video: DET@TEX: Profar crushes a solo dinger to right field

HE SAID IT
"Just trying to put the ball in play. Trying to swing at strikes makes it easier, but I don't expect to come back and be locked in. Today helped. I got a couple of balls to drop, and hopefully that got me going." -- Beltre, on his three-hit night

UP NEXT
Right-hander Bartolo Colon makes his sixth start for the Rangers when he faces the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Globe Life Park. Colon is 1-1 with a 5.03 ERA in his last three starts. Left-hander Francisco Liriano will pitch for the Tigers, and the Rangers are 3-8 this season when facing a lefty starter.

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.

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