ARLINGTON, Texas — Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello looked more like an All-Star on Thursday night than the pitcher who faced the Texas Rangers a month ago.
Among the American League leaders with 10 wins, Porcello certainly will be in the conversation for a roster spot in the midsummer classic.
Porcello pitched a three-hit shutout — retiring the last 11 hitters he faced — and first baseman Miguel Cabrera collected four hits as the streaking Tigers swept the slumping Rangers 6-0 on Thursday night.
Detroit posted its seventh consecutive win and Texas suffered its eighth straight loss.
Porcello (10-4) struck out six and walked three in his first career shutout and seventh victory on the road in 2014.
The shutout is “extremely special to me and the other thing that’s special is we’ve won our first seven games on this road trip after coming off a monthlong slide,” said Porcello, who posted his second career complete game and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 16 innings, a span of three games.
“I’m happy we’re playing good baseball and we’re all contributing.”
Porcello turned the tables on the Rangers slightly more than a month after yielding seven runs and
12 hits in 51/3 innings of a 12-2 loss in Detroit, where Texas took three of four games. Detroit was in the midst of losing seven of eight and nine of 13.
“I was pretty out of whack the first time around,” Porcello said. “I didn’t try to think about that game at all.
“I made a lot of mistakes in that game.”
Porcello used the same term “out of whack” to describe how he felt in the middle innings. He gave up a leadoff walk in the fifth and back-to-back singles to start the sixth.
He pitched around both by inducing double plays in each inning, one of three 4-6-3 combinations started by second baseman Ian Kinsler and turned by shortstop Eugenio Suarez.
“They were tremendous,” Porcello said. “Ian has been picking me up all year. Suarez played a great shortstop. Without those guys turning those double plays, I don’t know if I could go nine.”
Porcello lowered his ERA to 3.41 and joined Toronto’s Mark Buerhle with 10 victories, one shy of league leader Masahiro Tanaka.
Porcello is now in position for his first All-Star Game selection.
“It’d be a huge honor if I were to make the team, but I don’t think about it,” Porcello said. “When I’m given the ball, I try to make a quality start. We’ll see where it ends up. I’d love to be a part of it.
“The most important thing is to keep this role going.”
Cabrera was one of five Tigers with RBIs, leading a 12-hit attack by going going 4-for-5 with two doubles, including one that drove in the last run in the eighth. Kinsler was 2-for-4 with an RBI and center fielder Austin Jackson hit a two-run single in the Tigers’ three-run third inning.
Right fielder Torii Hunter and left fielder J.D. Martinez also had RBIs for the Tigers (43-32). Martinez went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly to end his 14-game hitting streak.
Right-hander Nick Martinez (1-5) took the loss for Texas (35-43) after giving up four runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings. He issued a career-high five walks.
“When it got out of control, he just couldn’t stop it,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “He just couldn’t find the strike zone.”
Reliever Scott Baker gave up two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“He kept the bullpen out of the game,” Washington said. “It could have been a disaster.”
Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin was the only Texas hitter to reach safely more than once, going 1-for-3 with a walk. Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre went 0-for-2 with a walk after collecting seven hits in a span of eight at-bats.
Detroit left two runners stranded in the first inning but scored in each of the next three innings to go up 5-0.
The Tigers sent eight hitters to the plate in the third inning and scored three runs.
Hunter walked with the bases loaded to start the rally, Jackson had a two-run single and Kinsler followed with RBI base hit.
The Tigers added a run in the fourth when J.D. Martinez produced his 32nd RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly that scored Cabrera.