Wilson, Rangers slam Tigers to finish sweep

May 8th, 2016

DETROIT -- Bobby Wilson's grand slam highlighted a seven-run eighth inning for the Rangers in an 8-3 comeback win, completing the series sweep of the Tigers on Sunday at Comerica Park.

Justin Verlander threw seven scoreless innings for the Tigers, but within five batters in the eighth, the bullpen allowed the Rangers to tie the game.

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Three straight singles by Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre made it 2-1. After a groundout advanced the runners, a sacrifice fly from Ian Desmond tied it up, as pinch-runner Drew Stubbs just beat the tag on the throw home by J.D. Martinez.

Mitch Moreland walked, Elvis Andrus was hit by a pitch, and Wilson -- traded by the Tigers to Texas earlier this week -- smacked his grand slam, stunning the Comerica Park crowd.

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"Shoot, we had it lined up the way we wanted," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Starter goes seven, we've got all of our 'pen available. We've got our two best setup guys available in the eighth, and our closer in the ninth. It just didn't work out."

The loss was Detroit's sixth in a row. Rangers starter Martin Perez allowed two runs on two hits over six innings. The Tigers loaded the bases in the eighth, looking for a comeback of their own, but weren't able to score.

"It was a big game today," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's a huge lift for our guys going home with a winning road trip after those three losses -- especially with the two walk-off losses in Toronto."

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Rangers erupt in 8th: Trailing, 2-0, the Rangers scored seven runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by Wilson's two-out grand slam off Mark Lowe. It was the first career grand slam for Wilson, who was reacquired by the Rangers from the Tigers earlier this week. The grand slam was the first by a Rangers player since Odor on Aug. 27, 2014. The Rangers were the only club without a grand slam last season. Delino DeShields followed Wilson with a blast off Lowe -- his second home run this season. More >

"It was a real fun eighth inning for us -- really, after getting nothing early," Banister said. "Verlander was sharp. He really showed that he can still pitch. This is a guy whose last pitch was 96 mph. He's got that big fastball. Kept us off balance, and really shut us down."

Verlander makes Tigers history: With a fourth-inning strikeout of Prince Fielder, Verlander moved into second place in Tigers history with 1,981 strikeouts, passing Jack Morris. Verlander struck out four more the rest of the way and finished with nine punchouts for the game, including at least one in each of his seven innings. More >

Perez limits damage: The Tigers loaded the bases in the third inning, but Perez limited the damage to two runs after he got Nick Castellanos to watch an inning-ending called third strike.

"It was an exceptional game, with one inning that was a challenge for him," Banister said. "That's kind of been his M.O. When he pounds the strike zone, and he gets a fastball in play, he's very difficult to hit."

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"I understand when you have a payroll like ours, the manager's the guy that's in the crosshairs. That's fine. I knew when I took this job, I was probably going to get fired before I walked away from it. Not this job in particular, but just managing in general. How many managers walk away from a job? Not many managers out there. Most managers that are out there now were fired from other jobs. So I understand I'm in the crosshairs. That's not going to change the way I do anything. I'm still going to prepare the same way, still going to be positive. I'm not going to make decisions based on whether I'm going to get fired or not. I played baseball a long time, so I'm very comfortable with that."

-- Ausmus, on the pressure he's facing


Rangers:Colby Lewis (2-0, 3.32 ERA) will try to keep his streak of working at least six innings intact when the 36-year-old right-hander takes the mound in Texas' series opener against the White Sox on Monday. Lewis, who is 7-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 14 career games against Chicago, has a win in each of his last six decisions against the White Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.

Tigers: The Tigers head to the nation's capital for a three-game Interleague series with the Nationals beginning Monday. Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 5.87 ERA) will take the mound for Detroit, coming off a performance in which he allowed four earned runs over seven innings against the Indians. First pitch in Washington is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

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