Wednesday, June 25, 2014
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Kinsler's homer helps Tigers win fifth straight

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[June 25, 2014]  ARLINGTON, Texas -- Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler waved at the Texas Rangers dugout during a first-inning home run trot. His old teammates didn't wave back.

"It was nothing personal at all," Kinsler said. "I was just saying hi. It was my return home. To get lucky enough to square one up like that and it go over the fence, it was a good feeling. I was just having fun."

The streaking Tigers certainly enjoyed Kinsler's homecoming, as they powered past the Rangers 8-2 Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.

Detroit (41-32) has won five straight, including the first four on its current nine-game road trip. The American League Central leaders improved to 22-13 away from home.

The Rangers are going in the opposite direction. Texas (35-41) has lost a season-high six in a row and is six games under .500 for the first time since 2008.

The Tigers rode long balls from Kinsler and right fielder J.D. Martinez. Kinsler was playing in Arlington for the first time since being traded from Texas to Detroit in November.

"I was having a good time out there," Kinsler said.

The Tigers took a 3-1 lead in the seventh on a two-run shot to center from Martinez. The second homer of the day off Texas starter Colby Lewis (5-5) proved to be the difference.

"I saw him try to get ahead of two batters," Texas manager Ron Washington said of Lewis in the seventh. "One hit him for a double and one for a home run."

Detroit wasn't done, as the Tigers scored three more in the inning, touching up Rangers relievers Ben Rowen and Shawn Tolleson. The five-run outburst made a winner out of Detroit starter Drew Smyly, who improved to 4-6.

Detroit added two runs in the eighth on Kinsler's single to put the game out of reach. Kinsler finished 2-or-5 with three RBIs.

Detroit pounded out 16 hits, with seven starters getting at least two. Smyly went six innings, giving up one run on five hits while striking out five.

"Smyly did a nice job," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. "His pitch count got up early, but he shortened innings as the game went on."

Texas' troubles in its own park continued in the opener of a six-game homestand. The Rangers are 0-5-3 in their last eight home series, with the second of three games against Detroit coming Wednesday night.

"Just not getting the job done right now," Washington said. "We can't put anything together. We have to keep battling."

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Kinsler looked right at home in his return to Texas. In his first at-bat as the game's second hitter, Kinsler took the third pitch he saw from Lewis into the left-field seats for a quick 1-0 lead.

The Rangers escaped further damage in the inning after Martinez doubled to center with two outs. Designated hitter Victor Martinez, trying to score from first, was easily thrown out at home.

The Rangers knotted the game in the third on third baseman Adrian Beltre's single to left, scoring center fielder Daniel Robertson. An error by Detroit shortstop Eugenio Suarez kept the inning alive for Texas.

NOTES: Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler returned to Texas for the first time since being traded in the offseason. He was quoted in spring training saying he wished the Rangers would go 0-162, and he called Texas general manager Jon Daniels a "sleazeball." He has no regrets for those comments. "I know what I meant by it. I didn't lie," Kinsler said. "I didn't say anything I thought was wrong. I had a pretty good understanding they weren't going to go 0-162. It was made to be funny with a little bit of competitive streak in it. Everything directed toward the general manager was maybe a little uncalled for, but at the time that's what I was feeling." ... The Rangers purchased the contract of 1B Carlos Pena from Triple-A Round Rock and the veteran moved into the starting lineup against Detroit. To make room on both the active and 40-man rosters, Texas designated 1B/OF Brad Snyder for assignment. Pena, 36, was in spring training with the Los Angeles Angels. He was released March 23.... The Rangers held a pregame moment of silence for ESPN Dallas reporter Richard Durrett, who died last week at age 38.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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