Tigers outlast Rangers, 7-5, for series sweep, seventh straight win

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Evan Petzold Detroit Free Press (TNS)

DETROIT — Texas Rangers right-hander Mike Foltynewicz allowed 10 runs and recorded just five outs in his last start. While the Detroit Tigers didn’t put him through the same agony Thursday, they made him uncomfortable in series finale.

The Tigers (47-51) jumped Foltynewicz for three runs in the first inning, setting the tone for a 7-5 win over the Rangers to sweep the four-game series at Comerica Park. The victory extended the Tigers’ winning streak to seven games, all since the All-Star break.

Detroit is 38-27 since May 8.

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After a 7-0 record on the homestand, the Tigers take on the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins for a six-game road trip. They’re ahead of the Royals and Twins in the American League Central standings.

This season, Foltynewicz has allowed an MLB-leading 31 home runs in 20 starts. The Tigers crushed three home runs against him Thursday: Eric Haase, Zack Short and Victor Reyes.

Foltynewicz conceded six runs (five earned) on five hits and two walks over four innings.

With one out in the first inning, Jonathan Schoop reached on a fielding error by second baseman Nick Solak. Robbie Grossman followed with a five-pitch walk. Haase stepped into the box and, three pitches later, homered over the left-field wall.

Haase swung and missed at a first-pitch slider and took a two-seam fastball for a ball before unloading on the second slider he saw from Foltynewicz for a 3-0 lead. His home run traveled 413 feet and came off his bat at 110.8 mph.

In 49 games, Haase has 15 home runs and a .237 batting average.

In the second inning, the Tigers picked up a leadoff triple from Willi Castro. He was summoned from Triple-A Toledo on Thursday morning, as second baseman Isaac Paredes went to the 10-day injured list.

Reyes’ sacrifice fly to right field scored Castro to go ahead 4-0.

Making the transition from the bullpen, left-hander Tyler Alexander started and took the Tigers through 3 2/3 innings. He threw 37 of 59 pitches for strikes in his first traditional start this season — because the team is dealing with injuries.

Alexander allowed one run on three hits and one walk. He struck out four batters.

The Rangers scored their first run in the fourth inning on Andy Ibanez’s RBI single. Alexander struck out David Dahl for the second out before righty reliever Erasmo Ramirez entered. He struck out Charlie Culberson to end the frame.

Ramirez was pulled in the sixth inning, after conceding three runs on two hits and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. The Rangers picked up all three runs against him in the sixth, trimming their deficit 6-4. Although right-hander Buck Farmer gave up the two-RBI double to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the runs were charged to Ramirez.

Farmer then struck out Eli White to escape further damage.

Right-hander Kyle Funkhouser pitched the seventh and eighth innings. In between, Grossman dropped a two-out single into left field to score Reyes for a 7-4 lead. He retired Adolis Garcia, Joey Gallo (strikeout) and Jonah Heim for a perfect seventh.

Funkhouser took a 15 1/3 scoreless innings streak into the eighth inning. Ibanez ripped a leadoff triple into the deepest part of Comerica Park, and Dahl scored him with a sacrifice fly to center field for Funkhouser’s first earned run since June 17. He has a season-long 2.41 ERA after his two innings of one-run ball.

All-Star Gregory Soto protected the two-run lead with a scoreless ninth inning to punch his 11th save. Along with pitching three games in a row, Soto picked up a save in each outing.

With one out in the fourth, Short turned on a four-seam fastball up and in from Foltynewicz. The first pitch of his at-bat traveled 379 feet and was deposited over the bullpen in left field and into the seats. It was Short’s second home run in as many games and fifth homer this season.

Reyes drilled his home run just three pitches later. He tagged a two-seamer below the strike zone and drove the ball over the right-field wall. It marked Reyes’ second long ball this season and his first since April 5.

The pair of solo shots pushed the Tigers’ lead to 6-1.

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