ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time this season and have gone 21 innings without scoring a run. They attributed their nine innings of offensive frustration on Sunday afternoon to the opposing pitcher.
Tigers rookie pitcher Michael Fulmer threw his first shutout, holding the Rangers to just four hits in their 7-0 loss at Globe Life Park. Fulmer struck out nine and did not walk a batter as the Rangers had just one at-bat with runners in scoring position.
"Today was as good of game thrown against us this year," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
This is first time the Rangers have been shut out in back-to-back games during one series in the 23-year history of Globe Life Park. The last time they were shut out in two straight games at home was Sept. 8 and 10, 2009, by the Athletics and the Angels.
"It's going to happen," Rangers designated hitter Carlos Beltrán said. "Baseball is a game of ups and downs. We feel we have a good team and feel like we'll be able to bounce back."
The Rangers haven't scored since Beltran's home run in the fifth inning on Friday. Matt Boyd and two relievers shut them down on Saturday, and Fulmer didn't need any help on Sunday afternoon.
"What was noticeable was the young man on the mound," Banister said. "He was able to do what he wanted to do. He was throwing 97 mph in the seventh inning and locating his off-speed stuff behind in the count ... [he] worked both sides of the plate. You can see why he has had the year he has had. He has tremendous stuff."
Fulmer was the 44th overall pick by the Mets in the 2011 Draft who ascended slowly through their system and was acquired by the Tigers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline last season for outfielder Yoenis Céspedes.
He didn't make his Major League debut until April 29, but he is now 10-3 with a American League-best 2.25 ERA in 19 starts.
"He's a good pitcher," Beltran said. "There is no doubt he has good stuff. He has a good sinker, his slider is a good pitch and his changeup he feels he can throw at any time. A guy like that, you have to have a simple approach and keep it in the middle of the field."
Fulmer was especially tough on the Rangers Nos. 5-7 hitters as Rougned Odor, Jonathan Lucroy and Mitch Moreland were a combined 0-for-9 with six strikeouts.
"I was swinging at bad pitches, they were too high that was all," Odor said. "He made some good pitches today, was working the corners and throwing a good slider with the changeup, too."
The Rangers had multiple baserunners on in just one inning. Ian Desmond singled with one out in the fourth. After Beltran flied out to deep right, Adrián Beltré singled, but Odor struck out to end the inning.
The Rangers managed just one more hit the rest of the way, as Fulmer retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced.
"Tomorrow we'll do the same thing we do every time," Odor said. "It's a new day, we're going to come back and do our job. Today is done."