Jeimer Candelario, surging Tigers face Rangers again

MLB

Jeimer Candelario is quietly having another solid season for the Detroit Tigers, who continue their three-game series against the host Texas Rangers on Tuesday and are looking for their fourth straight win.

The 27-year-old third baseman doubled twice and reached base four times on Monday as the Tigers posted their third straight win with a 7-3 victory.

While Candelario hasn’t homered since May 18, he has six hits in his last 10 at-bats.

“He’s been able to get on base and he’s been able to contribute on offense,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “His power has not been there for him, but you can’t just tell a guy, ‘Hey, go hit for more power.’ His swing is not necessarily built for power. But he can impact a baseball when he hits it.”

Power hasn’t been an issue for Texas, which has lost four of its last six games.

The team boasts a pair of power-hitting All-Stars in outfielders Joey Gallo and Adolis Garcia. Gallo delivered a two-run blast in Monday’s loss, giving him eight homers in his last eight games.

Catcher Jonah Heim followed Gallo’s ninth-inning homer with his fourth homer.

Manager Chris Woodward, who has been looking for a consistent No. 5 hitter behind Gallo, inserted Heim there for the past two games.

“That spot behind Joey is a big spot because there are going to be guys on base pretty much every time,” Woodward said. “I’ll keep trying and keep pushing. I love the way Jonah’s swinging right now. He’s getting a good swing off almost every bat. It seems like he’s just been really consistent so I’ll try that out. I don’t want to put pressure on guys, I just want a good, solid at-bat.”

Heim could be in the fifth spot again Tuesday against Detroit starter Jose Urena (2-8, 6.22), who recorded a 12.50 ERA in five starts covering 18 innings last month.

The 29-year-old right-hander received a no-decision last Wednesday, when he allowed four solo homers in 3 1/3 innings against Cleveland.

David Dahl has four hits in six at-bats against Urena, who has given up seven homers in his last three starts. He is facing Texas for the first time since July 26, 2017.

Texas will turn to Dane Dunning (3-6, 4.38), who allowed four hits and two walks over four scoreless innings against Oakland last Thursday. He had four strikeouts while throwing 68 pitches.

The 26-year-old right-hander has completed six innings just twice in 16 starts this season while posting a 79-to-27 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 74 innings.

Dunning made his major league debut against Detroit as a member of the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 19, 2020, when he allowed three runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Detroit could be without Daz Cameron for the rest of the series after the center fielder was scratched from Monday’s starting lineup with a sprained right big toe.

Cameron is listed as day-to-day after crashing into the wall during batting practice.

Akil Baddoo took Cameron’s spot in the lineup and went 0-for-5 from the leadoff spot. The 22-year-old rookie hit .324 (12-for-37) with five stolen bases in his previous 10 games.

–Field Level Media

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