American League Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, June 26 (All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (42-32) at Texas Rangers (35-42), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Rick Porcello (9-4, 3.76) Texas - Nick Martinez (1-4, 4.22)
(SportsNetwork.com) - It's Martinez vs. Martinez/Martinez Thursday in Texas.
Unrelated Texas pitcher Nick Martinez takes the mound for the Rangers against Detroit's Victor and J.D. Martinez -- also unrelated -- when the Tigers visit Globe Life Park for the finale of a three-game series.
Detroit has averaged 6.5 runs per game in its last six -- all victories -- including two straight wins over the Rangers. Victor and J.D. Martinez each homered in Wednesday's 8-6 win and each wound up with two runs batted in.
"Vic's been swinging the bat well all year, right-handed, left-handed, you take your pick," manager Brad Ausmus said. "The thing about J.D. is his power. When he gets hot, the ball is going to travel."
J.D. Martinez continued what's now a 14-game hitting streak, in which he's batting .411. He's also smacked six homers and 17 RBI in that span.
"He's been swinging the bat great, and he's a guy that has a lot of power," Victor Martinez said. "He's getting a chance to play more often, and he's been doing a lot of damage."
Nick Martinez earned his first big-league win in his last meeting with Detroit on May 24, when he tossed six innings of one-run ball in a 12-2 triumph.
He lost two straight following the initial success, but has allowed just four runs in 13 innings of two more outings since, though they ended in a loss and a no-decision.
"He was great," manager Ron Washington said. "He was moving the ball around and never really gave them too many pitches in the same spot consecutively. He used his changeup well and spotted his curveball and his fastball."
Texas has lost six of seven games at home.
"It's definitely hard to comprehend a seven-game losing streak, but it is what it is," Washington said. "We knew why. We've got to score some runs, and we've got to pitch better."
Detroit's Rick Porcello was on the losing side of the duel with Nick Martinez in May, lasting 5 1/3 innings and giving up 12 hits and eight runs.
He was 1-3 in five starts before rebounding Friday with six scoreless innings in the Tigers' 6-4 win against Cleveland.
Porcello has faced the Rangers seven times and is 3-4 with a 7.41 ERA.
Anibal Sanchez (5-2) was the beneficiary of the Martinez' offensive outburst on Wednesday and improved to 5-0 in his last nine starts after throwing 5 1/3 innings and despite giving up four runs on six hits.
The Rangers' season-high losing streak now stands at seven games.
Joe Saunders (0-4) took the loss after giving up six runs on seven hits and five walks in four-plus innings. He is 0-7 in his last 11 starts dating back to last season.
The Rangers won three of four meetings with the Tigers from May 22-25 at Comerica Park.
06/26 10:23:37 ET