Texas Rangers

If the Rangers Can Beat Justin Verlander in Detroit, Watch Out

Two more homers. Another win, this one 3-0 over the Baltimore Orioles. Three consecutive series victories.

Everything, it seems, is going boffo for the Rangers. With 18 dingers, 58 runs, splendid starting pitching and an 8-1 record, they are both the talk of baseball and the best team in the sport.

But now ... Detroit.

Once upon time Seattle's Kingdome was the Rangers' House of Horrors. Then for a while it was Toronto's SkyDome. But with 12 losses in their last 14 games there, it's now Detroit's Comerica Park.

Before last season the Rangers had lost 11 consecutive games there. C.J. Wilson had a memorable meltdown inning in Detroit in 2009. In 2008 they allowed the Tigers an 11-run inning. Couple of years ago the Tigers so obliterated Texas in a three-game series that owner Tom Hicks came this close to firing manager Ron Washington.

The Rangers play the Tigers in Motown today at noon. If that isn't ominous enough, they're facing a pitcher they almost never beat.

Justin Verlander is 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his last six starts against the Rangers, allowing only seven earned runs in 38 innings. He hasn't lost to the Rangers since 2006.

If the Rangers can beat their nemisis pitcher in their graveyard park, this truly will be the best start to a season in franchise history.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt