It’s been a typical Rangers visit to Detroit so far: two games and two tough-to-swallow losses. The twist this time has been that Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, the two relievers obtained to rid the Rangers of late inning nightmares, have given up the winning run via home run in each game. Tuesday, it was Brennan Boesch taking Adams deep after the Rangers had mounted their own three-run comeback rally in the top of the eighth. Wednesday, the Rangers already trailed by one when Alex Avila homered off of Uehara, but while Texas scored once in the ninth on Jose Valverde, they couldn’t muster an extra run to account for Uehara’s mistake.
Alexi Ogando takes on Brad Penny in a rare noon start locally on Thursday, as the Rangers try to salvage one game in the series and maintain their slim one-game division lead over the Angels before they come home to take on the Indians. In his last start, Ogando (10-5, 2.88) walked four for the first time in his career and lost to the Blue Jays for the second time in five days. He has made two starts against the Tigers this year and has been excellent against them, winning in Arlington and Detroit and allowing just one run in 14 innings.
Penny (7-8, 4.89) was bombed by the Angels for seven runs in 3.1 innings in his last outing, so he owes the Rangers a poor start. He last faced Texas on April 12 when he went 6.2 innings and allowed three runs, picking up a no decision.
First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 CDT.