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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, May 17th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Tigers (22-17) at Texas Rangers (27-14), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Rick Porcello (1-2, 6.68) Texas - Nick Tepesch (3-3, 4.03)
(Sports Network) - Nick Tepesch tries to keep the Texas Rangers rolling on Friday when they continue a four-game set against the Detroit Tigers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Texas won for the seventh time in eight games on Thursday, as it scored seven times in the fourth inning to beat Justin Verlander, 10-4.
Yu Darvish (7-1) battled through eight innings, but still picked up the win.
Darvish improved on his major league lead in strikeouts with six more on Thursday to push his total to 86 in nine starts this season. He was charged with four runs on seven hits.
"After the second inning his pitch counts went down," said Texas manager Ron Washington about Darvish. "He didn't panic and gave us another solid start."
It was a trying third inning for both starters, but especially for Verlander (4-4), who didn't make it out of the frame. He walked in a pair of runs before Geovany Soto's three-run blast topped off his start at 2 2/3 innings.
"I'm not going to go home and pout about this," said Verlander. "I've been doing this for a while now and I know what I need to do."
For Verlander, the leader in strikeouts in three of the last four seasons, it was his shortest outing in nearly three years, matching a career worst with eight runs allowed on six hits and two walks.
Texas received two hits and three RBI from Mitch Moreland as well as a solo blast from Nelson Cruz. Elvis Andrus, Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre each knocked in a run in the victory.
Don Kelly and Jhonny Peralta each hit solo homers for Detroit, which has dropped six of its last nine contests.
Getting the call for the Tigers on Friday will be the rookie Tepesch, who is 3-3 with a 4.03 ERA. Tepesch beat the Houston Astros on Sunday, as he limited them to a run and four hits in six innings. He also struck out a career-best eight batters.
"He threw the ball over the plate and executed the game plan very well," Washington said. "He had a good sinker working (against Houston), and his breaking ball had bite. He did a lot of good things."
Detroit, meanwhile, will rely on righty Rick Porcello, who is 1-2 with a 6.68 ERA. Porcello did not get a decision on Sunday versus Cleveland, but pitched well, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings of his team's 4-3 loss.
Porcello has faced the Rangers five times and is 2-3 with a 7.83 ERA.
Texas was 7-3 against the Tigers last season.
05/17 10:26:43 ET
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