Ross James/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

ARLINGTON, Texas — He might not be the household name that his fellow All-Star teammates and pitching staff members are, but José Ureña continues to perform like an ace of a staff, and the timing of it could not have been any better for the Texas Rangers as they continue to try and stay in touch in the American League West race.

On Wednesday, Ureña retired the first 15 hitters on his way to another impressive outing, leading the Rangers to a 9-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers inside Globe Life Field. Josh Smith and Jonah Heim each had three hits and both hit home runs in the third inning as Texas pounded out 12 hits overall to avert being swept in the three-game series.

Much of the news surrounding the pitching staff for the Rangers centers around the arms who are currently sidelined due to injury: Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Jon Gray. Ureña, who made the club out of spring training and started the season as a long reliever, was forced into the starting rotation because of the injuries, and the former Tiger and Miami Marlin has found his groove since then. In six starts, Ureña has a 2.84 ERA with 21 strikeouts against just eight walks.

Against the Tigers, Ureña did not allow his first hit of the game until he gave up a leadoff home run to Tigers rookie Justyn-Henry Malloy — Malloy’s first career Major League homer — to begin the sixth inning. That was the only hit Ureña allowed in his 6 2/3 innings of work, and he joins Scherzer as the only Rangers pitchers since the start of 2023 to allow one or fewer hits in a start lasting at least 6 2/3 innings.

“That was a great feeling,” Ureña said. “When you get out there, everybody puts a little piece together, and we did a good job for the fans. It’s something that they appreciate and they love.”

Both teams suffered injuries to key players, as Detroit starting pitcher Kenta Maeda was removed after just two pitches due to right-side abdominal discomfort and Rangers All-Star shortstop Corey Seager left with hamstring tightness after hitting an RBI single in the second inning to drive in the first run of the game.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday evening’s game, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Ross James. After clicking on a photo to enlarge the picture, press the left and right arrow buttons on either side of the caption to scroll through the rest of the pictures that appear on the first page. Also, click on the numbers and/or arrow appearing immediately below the picture grid to load the next set of photos. There are 37 pictures in total.

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Tags : Detroit TigersMajor League BaseballTexas Rangers

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