Jack Flaherty’s strong start lifts Tigers over Rangers 3-1

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JUNE 04: Jack Flaherty #9 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on June 04, 2024 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jack Flaherty pitched five shutout innings before leaving the game with back tightness, Zach McKinstry and Riley Greene homered and the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Flaherty (3-4) allowed two hits and no walks through five innings, throwing a season-low 60 pitches, including 44 strikes. In his previous start, the 28-year-old right-hander beat Boston 5-0 by throwing one-hit ball for 6 2/3 innings.

Flaherty said he felt some tightness before the game, and it worsened.

"Just kind of locked up as the game went along," said Flaherty, wearing a wrap around his lower back. He expressed confidence that he won’t miss his next scheduled start.

Texas broke up the shutout against Tyler Holton with two out in the ninth on Ezequiel Duran’s single that landed between shortstop McKinstry and center fielder Greene. Jason Foley came in to retire Wyatt Langford on a groundout for his 12th save in 14 opportunities.

The Tigers (31-30) have won three straight, are over .500 for the first time since May 18 and have won the first two in the three-game series with all five runs coming on homers.

"I do like that our guys have come in and played in a really tough environment," manager A.J. Hinch said. "The crowd was electric. Defending world champs, and we took it right to them."

The Rangers (29-32) had won five of six before the series started, but they’ve been held to two runs in as many games.


"The bats were just quiet," said Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, back following a one-game absence for what the team called a personal matter. "We were lucky to get one run to be honest."

McKinstry’s first home run of the season gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the second inning. He also tripled in the fourth and has seven hits — four for extra bases — in 13 career at-bats against Dane Dunning (4-4).

Greene hit a two-out homer in the fifth, also against Dunning.

Both homers by left-handed hitters were pulled just inside the right-field foul pole.

Dunning, making his third start since returning from the injured list, gave up four hits and a walk in five innings.

McKinstry’s two extra-base hits matched a career best. He went into play hitting .185.

Rangers starters have allowed three or fewer earned runs in 17 consecutive games. Texas is 7-10 in those games.

Texas’ Corey Seager went 0 for 3 to end a 16-game hitting streak but, with a sixth-inning walk, extended his on-base streak to a career-high 27 games.


Rangers: RHP Max Scherzer (offseason back surgery, thumb) threw 40 pitches of live batting practice and said he hopes, with a successful recovery day, to begin a rehab assignment soon. … Bochy said OF Evan Carter (lumbar sprain) will probably need another month before beginning to rehab. … RHP Jon Gray (right groin strain) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. Gray could be activated this weekend.


The starters for Wednesday’s series finale struggled last time out on Friday. Tigers RHP Kenta Maeda (2-2, 6.25 ERA) allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 7-3 loss at Boston. Rangers RHP José Ureña (1-5, 3.74), who was moved into the rotation on May 7, lasted only 2 1/3 innings in an 8-2 loss at Miami.