Tigers look to end skid Thursday against Rangers

Detroit lost in 13 innings Wednesday

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DETROIT - Nearly every team in Major League Baseball would be happy to finish a nine-game road trip with a 6-3 record, but the Detroit Tigers (27-15) can't help feeling disappointed about a swept at the hands of Cleveland after 11 straight victories away from home.

Detroit lost Wednesday afternoon's game in heartbreaking fashion, blowing a two-run lead in the ninth inning and losing in the 13th despite Alex Avila's solo home run in the top half of the inning.

The Tigers will look to bounce back against Prince Fielder's Texas Rangers (22-24), who travel without the former Tiger as he deals with a back injury.

TV: 1:08 p.m. ET, MLBN, FSN Southwest (Texas), FSN (Detroit)

Fielder's trade sparked a rivalry between two of the most talented clubs in the nation after Ian Kinsler said he hoped his former team went 0-162 without him. Kinsler has been much better than Fielder in 2014, owning a higher batting average (.317 to .247), more home runs (four to three) and more RBI (20 to 16).

Brad Ausmus will send Robbie Ray to the mound in what will be the toughest matchup of the lefty's young career. Though the Rangers are just 13th in the American League in runs scored, they will have perennial Cy Young candidate Yu Darvish starting the series opener.

The 27-year-old from Japan native is off to another fantastic start in his third season in the MLB. Darvish picked up quality starts in seven of his first eight outings and owns a 2.32 ERA. The righty has won all four of his career starts against Detroit, including three during his rookie season in 2012.

Though Ray has a much shorter professional resume than Darvish, Ausmus couldn't have asked for a stronger first two weeks from his No. 1 prospect. Ray has surrendered just one run in 12 innings and sits at 1-0 after the bullpen blew his second win on May 11.

Texas will play a four-game weekend series in Detroit, with the final game scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

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