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Ureña’s perfect-game bid ends with homer but Rangers top Detroit 9-1 to avoid a sweep

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas starter José Ureña had a perfect game through six innings when recent Detroit callup Justyn-Henry Malloy homered for his first major league hit, but the Rangers beat the Tigers 9-1 on Wednesday night.

Ureña (2-5) retired the first 15 batters before Malloy led off by hitting a 95-mph sinker 413 feet to left-center field on a 3-1 pitch. The 32-year-old allowed the one hit and one walk in 6 2/3 innings, tying his longest outing of the season, throwing 97 pitches and striking out six.

“He was really on top of his game,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “Great effort by him, the offense.”

He received a huge ovation as he left the game and he responded by doffing his cap.

“That was a great feeling,” Ureña said. “We put on a pretty good show for the fans.”

David Robertson and Kirby Yates finished the combined two-hitter as Texas (30-32) broke out after scoring one run in each of the series’ first two games.

Malloy was called up from Triple-A Toledo on Monday. He was the starting DH in all three games of the series, Detroit winning the first two games, and was 0 for 8 with three strikeouts before his homer. He added an eighth-inning single.

“People talk about like getting the monkey off your back. It feels like getting an angry gorilla off your back,” said Malloy, 24. “I was willing it out of there. Moments after that, it’s kind of like a blackout.”

Two players left with injuries during the first two innings. Detroit starter Kenta Maeda threw only two pitches before leaving with right-side abdominal discomfort. Texas shortstop Corey Seager left with left hamstring tightness following an opposite-field RBI single in the second.

Bochy said Seager was removed as a precaution. The hit extended Seager’s career-best on-base streak to 28 games.

Jonah Heim and Josh Smith both had three hits with a homer and two RBIs.

Five Tigers relievers followed Maeda beginning with Joey Wentz (0-1), whose 2 2/3 innings and 65 pitches were season highs while allowing three runs. The fifth was position player Zach McKinstry.

Detroit (31-31) has eight wins in its last 12 games.

Ureña was signed as a minor league free agent in January. He began the season in the bullpen but was moved to the starting rotation in early May when multiple Texas starters went on the injured list. He’s 2-3 as a starter and received four total runs of support in his previous four starts.

He was aided by two outstanding fielding plays. Left fielder Travis Jankowski ran down a slicing fly hit by Riley Greene in the fourth inning. In the fifth, Colt Keith’s hard-hit liner to the left side was snagged by Ezequiel Duran, who entered the game in the third inning when Smith was moved from third to shortstop to replace Seager.

Maeda’s start was the majors’ shortest since Miami’s Pablo Lopez was ejected after hitting Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. with the game’s opening pitch on July 2, 2021.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: RHP Alex Faedo (right hip inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list.

Rangers: RHP Tyler Mahle (elbow surgery) threw 20 pitches to live hitters for the first time in a year. He’s scheduled to throw 30 next Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Rangers RHP Michael Lorenzen (3-2, 2.96 ERA) will face Giants RHP Logan Webb (4-5, 2.95) on Friday in Texas manager Bruce Bochy’s first Arlington game against the franchise that he led to three World Series titles. Tigers RHP Reese Olson (1-6, 2.48) will start Friday’s series opener against Milwaukee at home.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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