Jack Leiter gets no decision in MLB debut, Rangers pull out 9-7 win over Tigers

DETROIT (AP) — Leody Taveras scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning and added an RBI single in the ninth as the Texas Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers 9-7 on Thursday.

Taveras doubled with one out and went to third on Marcus Semien’s fielder’s choice, eluding a tag by Detroit third baseman Gio Urshela. Seager then grounded to first and Taveras scored to break a 7-all tie.

“He made a great play, ” Tigers manager A .J. Hinch said of Tavares’ play. “We made plenty of mistakes today, but that wasn’t one of them. It was a baseball athletic play that didn’t go our way.”

Jose Leclerc (1-1) got the win in relief for Texas, which won three out of four games in Detroit. Kirby Yates earned his second save

Shelby Miller (3-2), the fifth of six Detroit pitchers, took the loss for the second day in a row.

The game marked the major league debut of Texas starter Jack Leiter, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft. He was brought up from Triple-A Round Rock, where he was 1-1 with 25 strikeouts and three walks in 14 innings over three appearances.

“He was all right,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “He had a little trouble hitting his spots in the second inning, but he came right back in the third and got two quick outs in the fourth before he ran into trouble.”

He is the son of Al Leiter, who won 162 games in 19 major league seasons.

Jack Leiter got off to a strong start, catching leadoff hitter Riley Greene looking for his first strikeout.

Semien, who had three hits, gave Leiter an early run with a leadoff homer. The Rangers added three runs in the second, highlighted by Jonah Heim’s two-run homer, but the Tigers evened things with four in the bottom of the second on RBI hits by Javier Baez, Carson Kelly and Riley Greene and a run-scoring ground out.

Adolis Garcia homered to give the Rangers the lead in a two-run third, and Texas added another run in the fourth, when Semien doubled and reached third on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Seager.

Bochy’s day ended early, He was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing whether a ground ball down the third base line was fair or foul.

Leiter’s day ended in the bottom of the fourth. With two out and two on, Kerry Carpenter drove home both runners with a triple to center field, then scored on a double by Torkelson.

He allowed seven runs, all earned, on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three.

“Obviously, it’s a surreal experience,” Jack Leiter said. “It’s something you dream about since you were a little kid. Beings around the game always, it’s a special day. I know I’m better and I need to be better and I will be better. And that’s kind of the frustration is some pitches that I left on the table and some mistakes that I made. ”

To make room for Leiter, the Rangers optioned pitcher Grant Anderson to Round Rock.

TRAINER’S ROOM

The Rangers moved LHP Brock Burke (broken right hand) from the 15-day to the 60-day injured list. He had surgery on the fifth metacarpal bone in his right hand by Dr. Paul Hovis in Arlington, Texas on Thursday. Burke will be eligible to return on June 12.

UP NEXT

The Rangers begin a weekend series at Atlanta on Friday. LHP Andrew Heaney (0-2, 5.75 ERA), whose scheduled Thursday start was pushed back a day, will start for Texas against Atlanta’s Chris Sale (1-1, 4.58).

Detroit begins a weekend series at Minnesota. Jack Flaherty (0-1, 4.91), will start against Joe Ryan (0-1, 2.60).

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