DETROIT, Michigan -- The Texas Rangers, led by left-handed starting pitcher Cole Hamels, took down Jordan Zimmermann and the Detroit Tigers on Friday at Comerica Park, 5-1.
With the victory, the Rangers became the first team to beat Zimmermann, as he was 5-0 prior to the game. Both teams came in with a three game losing streak and their top pitchers on the mound.
Ian Kinsler got the game started for the Tigers (14-14) with a leadoff single to right field, but Hamels (4-0, 2.68 ERA) did not allow a hit for the rest of his start. The veteran logged 7.0 shutout innings and nine strikeouts, allowing just one hit and two walks.
"This is why we have him. This is why he's part of this ballclub," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "He's our ace. He's the guy that we look to to be that stopper as a starter."
The Rangers (16-14) backed Hamels early in the game with two runs in the top of the second inning for a quick 2-0 lead over the Tigers. Elvis Andrus doubled to center field, scoring Mitch Moreland and Bobby Wilson, who was a member of the Tigers just three days ago, singled in Andrus.
Wilson, believe it or not, was acquired by the Tigers from the Rangers on March 29, 2016 for catcher Bryan Holaday. On May 3, 2016, Detroit sent Wilson back to Texas for left-handed pitcher Chad Bell.
"I want to beat those guys now. I was cheering for them a few days ago, but now I want to win here," Wilson said. "It was good to see those guys. They were good to me. But like I said, it's about winning here now."
Rougned Odor broke the game open with his fifth home run of the season to steal all the momentum and a 3-0 lead for Texas. The home run off Zimmermann in the top of the fifth inning had a batted ball speed of 110 miles per hour and went 425 feet.
"I made one mistake, and that was the pitch to Odor," Zimmermann said. "Even Wilson's RBI single was a curve that was going to bounce."
Zimmermann (5-1, 1.10 ERA) went 8.0 innings deep into the game, but allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk. It was troublesome to see the dominant righty only pick up two strikeouts.
With Wilson and Delino DeShields on-base, Odor knocked a two-RBI double for a 5-0 lead in the top of the ninth.
The Tigers finally got a run in the event as Miguel Cabrera grounded into a double play, but it allowed Kinsler to score.
Cabrera, Kinsler and Mike Aviles were the only players to reach base on Friday night against the Rangers pitching staff. J.D. Martinez was given the night off in the Motor City.
Sam Dyson allowed the run in the ninth inning, but stayed strong to preserve the 5-1 victory for the Rangers over the Tigers.
The Tigers will send Mike Pelfrey (0-4, 5.68 ERA) to the mound for a battle against A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.32 ERA) of the Rangers at Comerica Park on Saturday.