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Missing Cabrera and Victor Martinez, Tigers take on surging Rangers
Friday, May 19, 2017
Latest Line: Texas +130 O/U: 9
 
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DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez will be absent from the Detroit Tigers' lineup when the team opens a three-game series against the red-hot Texas Rangers on Friday at Comerica Park.

Cabrera, the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, is dealing with a Grade 1 oblique strain that has prevented him from playing the past two games. The first baseman is expected to miss at least one more game.

Martinez, the Tigers' cleanup hitter, was placed on the paternity list following Detroit's 6-5 victory over Baltimore on Thursday. The designated hitter will miss the weekend series to be with his wife in Orlando, Fla. for the birth of his fourth child.

That will force Detroit manager Brad Ausmus to improvise with his lineup card.

"The truth is, Miggy probably would have DH'd a few days because Victor was leaving," Ausmus said. "Now, Victor is leaving and Miggy probably won't DH the next couple of days, at least."

Alex Avila and Andrew Romine are the primary candidates to fill in at designated hitter and first base.

The Tigers hope their makeshift lineup can somehow cool down the Rangers, who bring a nine-game winning streak to Comerica. The Rangers defeated Philadelphia, 8-4, on Thursday while Detroit topped Baltimore, 6-5.

Lefthander Daniel Norris has the unenviable task of trying to tame Texas' blistering offense. In his last start against the Los Angeles Angels, Norris cruised through the first 4 2/3 innings. The Angels then loaded the bases and Albert Pujols ripped a two-run single.

Norris gave up two runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings and wound up with a no-decision.

"I wouldn't say I fell apart," he said. "I ran into some trouble there and it came down to one pitch, the first curveball I hung all day, and ended up giving up a couple of runs. But anytime you pitch into the sixth with only a couple runs, it's a good day. But yeah, I think I was working pretty good there for a while."

His only career start against Texas came in 2015 and he allowed six runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Norris (2-2) will be opposed by right-hander Nick Martinez, who will be seeking to end a long drought. He's gone 11 consecutive starts without a victory, dating back to Aug. 5, 2015.

Martinez tossed six innings and gave up three runs on seven hits to Oakland in his most recent start on Saturday.

"I felt good out there," Martinez told MLB.com afterward. "Most of the credit goes to (catcher Robinson Chirinos) and his game plan. He kept me on track. Attacking guys and sticking to the scouting report and communicating during the game, making sure we don't get off track of what we want to do."

Martinez is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in three career outings against Detroit.

The Rangers are among the most prolific teams at hitting homers in the American League but they're equally adept at small ball. They have swiped the most bases in the league.

During the winning streak, they have averaged 6.6 runs per game.

"We know we have some guys with speed, who can lay the ball on the ground, draw some walks," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We set up some situations the last few games that have allowed some of these guys to use other tools in their tool box. Puts pressure on the defense, forces teams to look at you differently."

 


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