After the feast, there’s not been a famine for Doug Fister. Just some lean and hungry months. But seven runs in the first two innings by his teammates helped Fister to his seventh victory on Friday night — and the Tigers to a relatively quiet 7-2 decision over the Texas Rangers. Relative to all the turmoil of Thursday’s loss, that is. Now comes the hard part — or, rather, the more difficult but necessary part. After winning four times in April, Fister (7-5) hasn’t won more than one game per month since — and for the Tigers to create the distance they’d like to between themselves and second place after the All-Star break, more than one victory per month from their starters is required. That’s not a way of blaming Fister, who’s allowed fewer than three earned runs four times this season with no-decisions. But he’s not been as consistent as he’d like — or as he expects. “There’s always work to be done,” he said, following his last start before the All-Star break. After giving up six runs in three of his last four starts, Fister allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings against the Rangers. He was handed a big early lead, and pitched well enough to keep it big. “We came out ready to play and kind of ambushed them early,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I thought Fister’s curveball got better as the game went on. That was the key. “This game sends him on a good note to the (All-Star) break, which is coming at a good time for him. This game can take a toll on you. “But he’s always been a very good second-half pitcher and I think he’ll freshen up.” The one inning that could have caused Fister big trouble caused him small trouble instead. After allowing two runs in the fourth — one on A.J. Pierzynski’s ninth homer — Fister ended the inning with a bases-loaded strikeout of David Murphy. After that, the Rangers didn’t pose much of a threat — kudos going to Bruce Rondon, who threw 10 pitches in a four-out relief appearance, all of them strikes.
Fister helps as Tigers 'ambush' Rangers 7-2
Detroit News | Jul 13