Fulmer, Tigers shut out Rangers for 2nd straight day, 7-0
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Michael Fulmer watched Matt Boyd throw seven scoreless innings against Texas a night earlier.
The Detroit rookie did his fellow starter two innings better, putting himself in the company of 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander.
Fulmer pitched a four-hitter in the Tigers' second straight shutout of the Rangers, and Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez homered among three hits apiece in a 7-0 victory Sunday.
The 23-year-old right-hander became the first Tigers rookie to throw a shutout since Verlander 10 years ago. He retired 16 of the last 17 hitters he faced as Detroit kept the AL West-leading Rangers scoreless over the final 21 innings of the three-game series.
The gem from Fulmer (10-3), whose longest previous outing was eight innings in a no-decision against Kansas City, came a day after the lefty Boyd, not far removed from rookie status himself, led a 2-0 victory against Texas ace left-hander Cole Hamels.
''What I learned was that they were an aggressive team against him,'' Fulmer, the AL rookie leader in wins, said after striking out nine - two off his career best - with no walks. ''I just looked to make quality pitches on 0-0 counts and early in the count and try to get grounders and weak pop-ups.''
Ian Kinsler added a solo shot against A.J. Griffin (5-2) after striking out his first three times against the Texas right-hander. Miguel Cabrera hit his team-leading 27th homer in the ninth.
Fulmer's streak of 13 straight retired ended with Nomar Mazara's single leading off the ninth. But Fulmer finished by getting the top of the Texas order - Shin-Soo Choo, Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran - on his way to a career-high 112 pitches. All four Texas hits were singles.
''All I know is I feel good right now,'' said Fulmer, a 2011 first-round pick of the New York Mets who started the season at Triple-A Toledo. ''I could feel this good at 200 innings. Who knows? All I can do is control the present and keep pitching every fifth day.''
The best chance for Texas came in the fourth, when Desmond and Adrian Beltre singled around a flyout to the warning track in right by Beltran. Fulmer struck out Rougned Odor to end the threat.
''What was noticeable was the young man on the mound,'' Texas manager Jeff Banister said. ''He was able to do pretty much what he wanted to do.''
Victor Martinez started the scoring with a two-run shot in the fourth, and J.D. Martinez hit his 100th career homer to knock out Griffin and give the Tigers a 6-0 lead in the seventh.
Griffin allowed 11 hits and six runs with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, his second-longest outing of the season. He gave up at least one homer for the 10th straight game, the longest single-season streak for the Rangers since reliever Joaquin Benoit in 2003.
The righty became the 11th Detroit rookie with 100 strikeouts in a season, finishing the game with 103. The most recent was Armando Galarraga, who had 126 in 2008. ... He joined Philadelphia's Zach Eflin (July 22 at Pittsburgh) as the only rookies with shutouts this season. ... He's the first AL pitcher this season with six outings of at least six scoreless innings.
On Saturday, Hamels gave up two runs on 14 hits, which was a career high and tied the Texas record. According to the Rangers, he's the first pitcher to allow 14 or more hits and two or fewer runs since John Dopson for Montreal in July 1988. ... Cabrera's home run was the 435th of his career, moving him past Juan Gonzalez and Andruw Jones into 44th on the homer list.
Tigers: Manager Brad Ausmus said there is hope that CF Cameron Maybin (sprained left thumb) can start swinging a bat late in the upcoming seven-game homestand. He's been out since Aug. 4.
Rangers: LHP Derek Holland (left shoulder inflammation) has another rehab outing with Triple-A Round Rock on Monday and is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list Saturday.
Tigers: LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.00 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at home against Kansas City. He had a no-decision in his only career start against the Royals last August.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (7-8, 4.22) goes in the opener of a three-game home series against AL West rival Oakland. He is 0-4 with a 5.77 ERA in his past eight starts.