The Texas Rangers had no trouble scoring runs without Prince Fielder in the series opener with the host Detroit Tigers and may have to do without his services for a long time.
The first baseman who was acquired from the Tigers – with this four-game series slated to be his first trip back to the Motor City – will undergo neck surgery on Tuesday that may sideline him for the remainder of the season. Not having Fielder wasn’t a hindrance as Texas rolled to a 9-2 win on Thursday.
Fielder will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk and the recovery time is approximately four months, which would probably put him on the shelf for the rest of the campaign.
“We’re looking forward to getting this guy healthy and seeing what he can do,” Texas general manager Jon Daniels told reporters after Thursday’s victory. “But that’s in 2015 and beyond. We’re going to miss this guy.”
Detroit has lost a season-worst four straight games after being clobbered in the opener.
TV: 7:08 p.m. ET, MLB Network, KTXA (Texas), FSN Detroit
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Scott Baker (0-0, 3.38 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (1-2, 2.89)
Baker is making his second major-league appearance of the season as the Texas starting rotation continues to be besieged by injuries. He received a no-decision against Colorado on May 7 when he allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings and is 7-5 with a 4.71 ERA in 23 career starts against Detroit. Baker, who went 38-22 from 2008-10 with Minnesota, last won a big-league game on July 23, 2011 when he defeated the Tigers.
Sanchez has been roughed up badly in three previous career starts against the Rangers as he has allowed 24 hits and seven walks in just 12 1/3 innings while going 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA. He returned from an absence related to a blister issue to beat Boston in his last outing, giving up two runs (one earned) and five hits in five innings. Sanchez has struggled with his command with 14 walks in only 28 innings.
1. Rangers CF Daniel Robertson passed concussion tests and X-rays were negative after he was injured in Thursday’s game when he dove and collided with sliding RF Alex Rios while both players were making attempts to catch a ball.
2. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera is batting .343 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 35 career at-bats against Baker.
3. Texas 3B Adrian Beltre had a two-run double in the series opener and is 4-for-5 with three RBIs against Sanchez.