ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Spencer Torkelson homered twice and Andy Ibañez had the go-ahead RBI single for the Detroit Tigers, who had another pitcher get hurt while earning a series split with the AL West-leading Texas Rangers with a 8-5 victory Thursday.
Ibañez broke a 3-3 tie as all four batters that faced reliever Joe Barlow (1-1) to start the seventh inning reached base. John King then got out of that jam with a strikeout and a double-play grounder, though the reliever gave up Torkelson’s second homer the next inning.
Ezequiel Durán homered in his third straight game and Leody Taveras also went deep for the Rangers (49-32), who reached the midway point of their first season for manager Bruce Bochy on a 98-win pace. They haven’t had a winning season since 2016, and have never won more than 96 games.
Torkelson put Detroit up 3-2 with his one-out solo shot in the fifth that chased Rangers rookie starter Cody Bradford, who had a career-high eight strikeouts and walked three. Torkelson’s three-run shot in the eighth, which made it 8-3, was his 11th homer of the season. It was his first career multihomer game.
Mason Englert (4-2), the fourth of seven Detroit pitchers, allowed a run pitching the sixth.
Tigers starter Reese Olson exited in the second inning after a comebacker off his left knee. It was the second time in the four-game series that Detroit’s starter was knocked out early because of an injury.
Olson was struck by a sharp one-hopper off the bat of Josh Smith, with the ball then ricocheting into foul territory. The right-hander immediately dropped to the ground and grabbed his left leg, though he was able to get up and gingerly walk to the dugout. The team said he had a bruised knee.
Detroit already has 10 pitchers on the injury list, and half of them have started games this season.
Matthew Boyd left after only 15 pitches in the series opener Monday, and the team said the next day that the left-hander would have season-ending elbow reconstruction surgery. Reliever Will Vest, who also left that game hurt after relieving Boyd, was put on the 15-day IL Tuesday with a lower right leg strain.
Rangers SS Corey Seager got what Bochy said was a “needed” day off. Seager, hitting .345 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs in 49 games, had started 38 consecutive games since his return from the injured list May 17 after missing 31 games because of a left hamstring strain.
The Tigers optioned LHP Joey Wentz (1-9, 6.78 ERA) to Triple-A Toledo, a day after he allowed six runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings against the Rangers. “It’s been a grueling stretch for him, but there’s been some good mixed in,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’ve got to get him right and get him more effective.”
LHP Zach Logue was called up from Triple-A Toledo, and lefty Anthony Misiewicz was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
The Tigers stay on the road, going to Colorado for the first time since 2017 on Friday night for the opener of a three-game series.
Rangers: Except for some standing-room only seats, there are no tickets left for any of the four games in their home series against the AL West rival Houston Astros that starts Friday night.
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