The Tigers faded down the stretch last night at Texas, where the Rangers rallied to beat Detroit 11-to-4 in the opener of a 2-game game series. Detroit led 4-to-1 after three-and-a-half innings but the Rangers tied the game with 3 runs in the bottom of the fourth off starter Jeremy Bonderman and then went to work on the Tiger’s bullpen, scoring three times in the sixth and four more in the seventh.
Robbie Weinhardt allowed four hits and three runs in just two-thirds of an inning to take the loss in relief. Detroit rookie right fielder Casper Wells went 4-for-4 with an RBI. The Tigers stranded 11 runners and were just 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
The West Division leading Rangers, just off a 3-game sweep of the Yankees, moved nine full games ahead of the second place A’s.
Armando Galarraga starts for Detroit tonight at Texas and then after a day off tomorrow, the Tigers open a 3-game series against the White Sox in Chicago.
Last night, the White Sox lost 9-to-3 to Minnesota as the first place Twins padded their Central Division lead over Chicago to seven games. And the Cubs beat the Cardinals 7-to-2.
Major League Baseball last night released its schedule for 2011 and the Tigers will open the season March 31st in New York against the Yankees. Detroit’s home opener is on a Friday afternoon, April Eighth against Kansas City. Baseball will begin and end the season a half week earlier than in recent years so the World Series won’t extend over into November.