Sports

Lorenzen goes 5 innings in Texas debut as Rangers blank Tigers

Rangers Tigers Baseball
Posted at 10:24 PM, Apr 15, 2024

DETROIT (AP) — Michael Lorenzen pitched five spotless innings in his Texas debut and three relievers completed a five-hit shutout as the Rangers topped the Detroit Tigers 1-0 on Monday night.

Lorenzen, signed to a $4.5 million, one-year contract as a free agent late in spring training, gave up three hits and walked five while notching four strikeouts against his former team. Lorenzen represented the Tigers at the All-Star Game last season before he was traded to Philadelphia.

“Everything about Detroit I really enjoyed. The guys over there are great,” Lorenzen said. “I tried not to talk to them at all because I wanted to beat them. I’ll catch up with them (Tuesday).”

The right-hander, who had been on the 15-day injured list due to a neck strain, made three rehab appearances at Triple-A Round Rock before he was activated.

“You saw a guy with poise,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “He's got the experience. He knows how to make pitches when he has to. That's what really good pitchers do and he did it tonight. He got into a couple of tough jams he had to work hard to get out of and he got two big double plays.”

Jose Leclerc allowed one baserunner in two innings. David Robertson got the next three outs and Kirby Yates earned his first save as Texas finished its first shutout this season.

Jonah Heim had two hits and scored the only run.

Detroit starter Reese Olson (0-2) allowed one run and five hits while striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings.

The Rangers grabbed the lead in the fifth. After they loaded the bases on Heim's double, a walk and a single, Heim scored on Marcus Semien's grounder.

The Tigers avoided further damage when left fielder Riley Greene threw out Jared Walsh at the plate after Greene caught Travis Jankowski's flyball.

Detroit had six baserunners combined in the third, fourth and fifth, but the Rangers turned a double play in each inning to snuff out those threats.

Lorenzen credited his catcher, Heim, for calling the right pitches when needed.

“It wasn't pretty by any means and he had my back the entire time,” Lorenzen said. “That's all you can ask for in a catcher.”

The Tigers also had two baserunners in the eighth, but Robertson's strikeout of Wenceel Pérez kept Detroit at bay.

The Tigers, who have lost three of four, ended up leaving eight runners on base.

“We had better at-bats, which is hard to say with getting shut out, but I do think we had better at-bats,” said manager A.J. Hinch, whose team has scored five runs in the last three games. “We just didn't get the big hit. Our pitchers were sensational, but the big hit is key in a one-run game.”

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 4.38 ERA) makes his fourth start this season in the second game of the four-game series on Tuesday afternoon.

Tigers: RHP Casey Mize (0-0, 4.82) makes his first home start since April 9, 2022. Mize missed most of that season and all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and a back operation.

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