Published November 20, 2014
Brennan Boesch quickly put Detroit in the lead. The young right fielder and the Tigers then kept pouring it on against the AL West-leading Texas Ragners.
Boesch had two of Detroit's four home runs while setting career highs with five hits and five RBIs in a 13-7 win Monday night.
"He had a huge, huge night and good for him. He's getting better all the time, starting to relax a little bit more," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's so hard on himself and we're trying to eliminate that, get him to be not quite so hard on himself."
The Tigers won for the seventh time in eight games. They set season highs for runs and hits (18) to back up Max Scherzer, who pitched just long enough for his first win in nearly a month.
All of Detroit's homers came off Colby Lewis (5-6), who gave up nine runs in 3 1-3 innings only five days after pitching eight scoreless innings at Tampa Bay to start a five-game winning streak for the Rangers.
When Boesch pulled a pitch into the second deck of seats in right field in the first, Detroit had a 3-0 lead before Lewis had even retired a batter. Austin Jackson, who grew up in nearby Denton, led off the game with a single before Don Kelly walked.
Boesch led off the third with his seventh homer for his first career multihomer game. It was also the first of three homers in the inning for the Tigers.
After hitting only .196 with seven extra-base hits his previous 28 games, Boesch also singled and scored in the fourth, added an RBI double in the sixth and singled in the ninth.
"I've been swinging the bat well. You just keep grinding and you know that eventually balls are going to find seats and find holes," Boesch said. "It's hard to be easy on yourself when you have expectations. It's something I'll probably fight for the rest of my career. It's a daily thing where you remind yourself that this game isn't easy, but you also expect to do your job and perform."
Scherzer (7-2) hadn't won since May 9 at Toronto, when the right-hander won his sixth consecutive decision to open the season. He gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings.
"I didn't have good rhythm the first few innings. I didn't have fastball command," he said. "It's frustrating me. I want to be pitching well, pitching deep in games."
Since his previous win, Scherzer had gone 0-2 in four starts. He gave up seven runs in each of his last two, including a no-decision against Minnesota last Tuesday. He struck out four and walked one against Texas while throwing 65 of his 99 pitches for strikes.
"Right now for whatever reason, he can't find his slider consistently," Leyland said. "We have to look into this, see what's going on, and get it straightened out."
Andy Dirks hit a two-run homer for Detroit in the third before Alex Avila had a solo shot that made it 7-0.
Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to 10 games for Texas with a pair of two-run homers, giving him 14 for the season. His homer in the fourth got Texas within 9-4. He went deep again in the eighth — a 459-foot blast to left-center, the fourth-longest ever at Rangers Ballpark — for his seventh career multihomer game.
Lewis was gone after Miguel Cabrera's RBI double in the fourth, Detroit's third consecutive hit, made it 8-2. Victor Martinez greeted reliever Michael Kirkman with a sacrifice fly when Endy Chavez made a running catch in the right-center gap to likely prevent more runs.
"He got a lot of balls up, and the left-handers didn't miss it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Just one of those nights. Get a shower, let it go, come back tomorrow try to even up the series and move on from there."
Rangers leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler snapped an 0-for-20 slide with an RBI triple in the third, then added a run-scoring double in the fourth.
While playing second base in the ninth, Kinsler collided with Ryan Raburn while trying to field a grounder. Umpire Ed Rapuano immediately signaled that Raburn was safe after Kinsler ran into the baserunner. Jackson was credited with a single on the play, his third hit of the game.
"Probably my fault," Kinsler said. "The ball passed him, and I had the opportunity to get the ball before he hit me. It was the right call."
NOTES: Lewis gave up four homers only one other time, in 4 1-3 innings at the New York Yankees in August 2003. His career high for runs allowed is 10, in 3 1-3 innings at Minnesota four years ago. ... Kirkman, who gave up two runs in 3 1-3 innings, had his glove knocked off his hand by Martinez's comebacker in the sixth. Kirkman scrambled barehanded to get the ball behind the mound and complete the out. ... Sitting in the owners box near the Rangers dugout were former president George W. Bush and Pulitzer Prize winner George Will. ... Tigers RHP Phil Coke (right bone bruise) is expected to be activated from the 15-day DL to start Wednesday's series finale at Texas. ... Detroit OF-DH Magglio Ordonez (right ankle weakness) continues his rehab assignment with Toledo, with no timetable for him to be brought off the 15-day DL by the Tigers.