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Diaz's grand slam powers Rangers past Tigers

Jun 6, 2007 - 5:31 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- One inning was enough to help the Texas Rangers end their woes at home.

Victor Diaz belted a grand slam in a six-run first inning to lead the Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Michael Young went 4-for-4 and drove in a run for the Rangers, who snapped a five-game losing streak at home and won for just the third time in 13 games.

"This is a good team although we haven't played like it," Texas outfielder Marlon Byrd said. "We have to take the opportunity we've been given here to put some kind of a run together."

The Rangers also received stellar work from their bullpen after starter John Rheinecker lasted just three-plus innings in his season debut.

A trio of relievers combined on five innings of scoreless relief before Eric Gagne worked around a two-out walk in the ninth for his fifth save, ending the Tigers' two-game winning streak.

"We've been behind so much this year that it's been hard to get our game-closing guys enough work," Rangers catcher Gerald Laird said. "Eyre looked unbelievable tonight and (Joaqun) Benoit came in and kept us in the game after a tough outing on Sunday in Seattle.

"We've just got to put ourselves in a position to get (Akinori) Otsuka and Gagne the ball more often."

Willie Eyre (2-2) worked two innings for the victory. He allowed two hits and struck out one batter.

"Eyre's really meant a lot to this team especially when your starting pitchers can't get you five or six innings," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's been a savior but hopefully the starting rotation will get itself together and start getting us to at least the sixth inning."

The Rangers rocked Tigers starter Nate Robertson (4-6), who did not record an out and was gone after facing just six batters in suffering his third straight loss.

Robertson had been awful of late, going 1-4 with a 7.01 ERA in his previous five starts. This had been one of his favorite venues, as Robertson entered with a 3-0 career mark and 1.71 ERA at Texas.

Instead, he quickly loaded the bases in the first on a single and consecutive walks.

Sammy Sosa brought in the first run with a single and Diaz followed by belting a grand slam for an early 5-0 lead. That gave Diaz six hits, including three homers, and 11 RBI in his last 10 at-bats.

Robertson yielded a triple to the next batter, Byrd, and was removed in favor of Jason Grilli, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Ian Kinsler for an early 6-0 cushion.

"I must be honest and admit that I wanted more at that point," Washington said. "That's a good hitting team we were playing and I wanted to put up as many as I could and then their relief corps came in a shut us down until the ninth."

The final line for Robertson: six runs, four hits and two walks. It was the first time the Rangers had knocked a pitcher from the game in the first inning without retiring a batter since 1989.

"I felt pretty strong going in tonight," Roberston said. "There's nothing hindering me physically. This is easily just the worst stretch I've been through in the big leagues. I'm not getting them to swing and miss. They're just fouling off pitches and fouling off pitches."

The Tigers came right back against lefthander Rheinecker in the second inning.

Detroit strung together four consecutive singles to open the inning, with Brandon Inge driving in the first run. Gary Sheffield walked to plate the second run and Magglio Ordonez cut the deficit in half with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3.

Inge belted a leadoff homer in the fourth before Rheinecker walked Omar Infante and hit Placido Polanco with a pitch, which prompted Washington to call for Eyre.

"When the game got to 6-4 in the fourth and Rheinecker had two men on the bases, I didn't want to let the game get away from us," Washington said. "It was Eyre, Benoit, Gagne and Aki (Otsuka) that kept this one from getting away."

Rheinecker was charged with four runs and seven hits in three-plus innings. He walked four and struck out one.

Texas added an insurance run in the eighth off Fernando Rodney when Young singled home Kinsler for a 7-4 lead.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 0
    TEXAS 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 x 7 11 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - NATE ROBERTSON, JASON GRILLI (1ST), ZACH MINER (5TH), TIM
    BYRDAK (7TH), FERNANDO RODNEY (8TH) AND IVAN RODRIGUEZ
    TEX - JOHN RHEINECKER, WILLIE EYRE (4TH), JOA

    Jun 6 12:03 AM
  • 10
    roots
    Chuckybaby74075 Added 5 roots

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 6 12:00 AM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M YOUNG ON FIRST, J HAIRSTON JR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4
    TEXAS 7 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M TEIXEIRA (.299, 0-FOR-2, 2 BB)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 11:47 PM
  • 5
    roots
    VivaGardner Added 5 roots

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 10:07 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRANDON INGE (9) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF JOHN RHEINECKER.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4, TEXAS 6
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: O INFANTE (.333, 2-FOR-2)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 9:57 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY MAGGLIO ORDONEZ SCORED BRANDON INGE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, G SHEFFIELD ON FIRST, O INFANTE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TEXAS 6 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GUILLEN (.316, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 9:27 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO GARY SHEFFIELD SCORED CRAIG MONROE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G SHEFFIELD ON FIRST, O INFANTE ON SECOND, B
    INGE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    TEXAS 6 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M ORDONEZ (.365, 1-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 9:26 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON INGE SCORED MARCUS THAMES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B INGE ON FIRST, C MONROE ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1
    TEXAS 6 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: O INFANTE (.324, 1-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 9:21 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY IAN KINSLER SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    TEXAS 6 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.232, 3 HR, 20 RBI)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 9:07 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY VICTOR DIAZ (8) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF NATE ROBERTSON SCORED MICHAEL YOUNG, MARK TEIXEIRA AND SAMMY
    SOSA.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0, TEXAS 5
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.324, 0 HR, 4 RBI)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 9:03 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SAMMY SOSA SCORED JERRY HAIRSTON JR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S SOSA ON FIRST, M TEIXEIRA ON SECOND, M
    YOUNG ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: V DIAZ (.297, 7 HR, 16 RBI)

    Tigers vs. RangersJun 5 9:01 PM