(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Tigers have clawed their way back to the top of the AL Central standings and will resume a nine-game road trip Tuesday with the first of three straight games against the Texas Rangers.
The Tigers are two games ahead of the cooled-off Kansas City Royals for the Central lead and recorded a three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians this weekend. They made it four straight wins with Sunday's 10-4 pounding of the Tribe thanks to an offensive explosion and great pitching.
Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored, Ian Kinsler added three hits an RBI and scored twice and Nick Castellanos finished with two hits, two RBI and a pair of runs scored for the Tigers, who are 6-3 in the last nine games.
J.D. Martinez extended his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games.
Meanwhile, Kinsler will make a return to Texas, where he spent the first eight years of his career. He was acquired by Detroit in a deal that sent Prince Fielder to the Rangers.
Max Scherzer limited the Indians to a run in six innings of work with eight strikeouts and a pair of walks.
"It was a good all-around day for us," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.
The Tigers are 21-13 away from home and will also visit Houston for three games on their current road trip.
Drew Smyly will open this series on the hill for Detroit and is 3-6 with a 3.48 earned run average. He has lost two straight and four of his last five starts and is 1-5 in the past six decisions. Smyly pitched well in a 2-1 defeat versus Kansas City last Wednesday, allowing both runs with six strikeouts and no walks.
Smyly is 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA in seven career games (2 starts) against Texas.
The Rangers will play back-to-back three-game series at home versus the Tigers and Minnesota Twins, and have lost five in a row since winning four of five.
Texas was swept by the LA Angels of Anaheim this weekend at the Big A and dropped Sunday's finale of a three-game set by a 5-2 score. Yu Darvish was dealt the loss for giving up five runs -- four earned -- in six innings with nine strikeouts and four walks.
"In my last start (in Oakland), my mechanics were off, and I wasn't able to make the adjustment between starts," Darvish said. "It was just the fastball. With sliders, I was able to throw good ones in key situations, but yes, my command was off."
Brad Snyder homered and Leonys Martin went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored for the Rangers. Adrian Beltre had two hits Sunday and is one shy of 2,500 in his career. Texas is 1-5-1 in its last seven series.
The Rangers are 16-19 at home and have lost four of five and 11 of the past 17 at Globe Life Park. They are 7-16 in Arlington since starting 9-3.
Taking the mound Tuesday for the Rangers will be Colby Lewis, who has a 5-4 record to go along with a 5.97 ERA. Lewis ended a three-start winless streak (0-1) in his last outing, a 14-8 victory at Oakland last Monday. He allowed five runs and 10 hits across 5 1/3 innings.
Lewis, a right-hander, has allowed five or more runs five times in the past eight tries and is 3-2 with a 6.02 ERA in eight career games (7 starts) against the Tigers.
The Rangers won three of four meetings with the Tigers from May 22-25 at Comerica Park.