- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - J.D. Martinez became the first Detroit Tigers outfielder in seven seasons to reach 100 RBIs.

But he couldn’t get to Adrian Beltre’s flyball, the one that let the tiebreaking run score.

Martinez had two-run homer in the first inning, but the ball he didn’t catch in right field was the difference for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, who snapped a three-game skid with a 7-6 victory Tuesday night.

“That’s a ball that needs to caught. We were playing Beltre shifted a little bit, and when he hit it, I was running and running, and I felt like I ran forever, and as I got close to the wall, I felt like the wall was a lot closer than it was,” Martinez said. “I don’t know what happened or why I felt that, but that’s why I kind of got scared and pulled up before I should have. But I had plenty of room. It just sucks that’s what cost us the game.”

Detroit, at the bottom of the AL Central, also couldn’t take advantage of a shaky Cole Hamels early.

The Tigers scored in each of the first three innings before Hamels retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced and finished with eight strikeouts in six innings. The lefty is 6-1 in 11 starts since getting traded to Texas from Philadelphia two months ago.

But they also had four errors, including two in the first inning when Texas went ahead 5-2 with four unearned runs.

“It certainly wasn’t our best defensive performance, but I still stick to the thought that these guys fought their tails off until the bitter end,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “When they did make mistakes, they could have folded up shop, but they didn’t.”

Detroit had two out in the ninth inning against Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson before Ian Kinsler hit a drive to right-center that was run down and caught by center fielder Drew Stubbs.

“I was a little unsure off the bat if I was going to be able to track it down,” said Stubbs, who after the game-ending catch took a few more steps and scaled halfway up the outfield wall. “To end it on a play like that, adrenaline more than momentum.”

Tolleson got his 34th save in 36 chances.

Martinez quickly put the Tigers up 2-0 with his 38th homer that gave up 101 RBIs. While reaching 100 RBIs for the first times in his career, he became the first Tigers outfielder with 100 in a season since Magglio Ordonez had 103 in 2008.

“I felt like I’ve might of been trying too hard these last few weeks (to reach the milestone), and it definitely feels good not to think about it anymore and just go out there and play,” Martinez said.

Beltre had three hits and drove in two runs, including Shin-Soo Choo when they had consecutive doubles in the fourth to break a 6-all tie. Choo also had a two-run homer in the first.

Tigers catcher Bryan Holaday homered in the second. Hamels struck out Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera to start the third before Detroit tied the game at 6 on a walk, a hit batsman, and run-scoring hits by Jefry Marte and Dixon Machado.

Buck Farmer (0-4), the second of six Detroit pitchers, retired the first six batters he faced before the doubles by Choo and Beltre.

SHORT START

Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris was again on a pitch count in his third start back from an oblique injury. He was pulled after five perfect innings a week earlier against the Chicago White Sox at 63 pitches. Norris threw 71 pitches in only 1 1-2 innings against Texas, and only two of the six runs against him were earned. He threw 54 pitches in the first, when the Tigers made two errors and fell behind 5-2.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: 3B Nick Castellanos left the game after the first inning because of a bruised right index finger. The Tigers said he’s day to day. … Victor Martinez was out of the lineup because of a sore left quad.

Rangers: Josh Hamilton wasn’t in the lineup after starting two of the previous three games. Manager Jeff Banister said Hamilton, who had arthroscopic surgery Sept. 11 for a small meniscus tear in his left knee, is not ready to start consecutive games. Hamilton stuck out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh.

UP NEXT

In the series finale, rookie left-hander Matt Boyd (1-5) pitches for Detroit against Yovani Gallardo (12-11), who has lost his last two decisions and tries to avoid matching his career high for losses set in 2009.


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