Jordan Zimmermann knew two things when he took the mound against Bartolo Colon on Friday night.
He was going to have to be good to keep Colon from making history Dede Westbrook Jersey , and the game wasn’t going to take long.
Zimmermann came through, outdueling Colon as the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 in a game that ended four minutes after sunset at Comerica Park.
”I’ve hooked up with Bartolo a lot of times over the years, and he’s always good and the games are always short,” said Zimmermann, who struck out 11 batters in eight innings. ”He works fast, I work fast and we almost got out before 9 o’clock tonight.”
Colon was trying to become the winningest Latin-American pitcher in major league history. He remains tied with Dennis Martinez with 245 career victories.
He pitched well, allowing three runs – including homers by James McCann and JaCoby Jones – in an eight-inning complete game, but Zimmermann (4-0) was better.
”When I was young, a loss like this would bother me,” Colon (5-6) said through a translator. ”Now, I know games like this are going to happen. Tonight was good for us and not good for the hitters.”
The Tigers right-hander allowed one run and four hits and struck out 10 or more for the first time since his no-hitter for Washington against Florida on Sept. 28, 2014.
”That might be the best slider I’ve had in my career, and when I can throw it like that, it makes my fastball and curve even tougher to hit,” Zimmermann said. ”I’m not going to give up many runs with that kind of stuff.”
There were no walks in the game, and neither starter needed 100 pitches for their eight-inning outings. Zimmermann threw 96 pitches, and Colon 97.
”Those were two great veteran pitchers doing what they do best,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”They were attacking the zone, moving the ball all over the place and making the hitters chase their pitches.”
Joe Jimenez pitched the ninth for his third save Josh Shaw Jersey , helping the Tigers end a three-game losing streak by winning for just the third time in 17 games.
At 45 years, 43 days old, Colon became the oldest pitcher to throw a complete game since Jamie Moyer (47 years, 199 days) on June 5, 2010. Tim Wakefield and Randy Johnson are the only other 45-year-olds to pitch complete games in the 21st century.
”That’s a tough loss for Bartolo, but both pitchers were great out there,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ”Zimmermann had his A-game going, and Bart was getting a lot of weak contact.”
Colon first faced Detroit on May 10, 1997, allowing one earned run in six innings for Cleveland in a loss at Tiger Stadium. He’s the last active major league player to have played at Tiger Stadium, which closed in 1999.
”That old man took me to school,” Nicholas Castellanos said. ”He was moving the ball over the place and I didn’t know what was happening.”
The Rangers took the lead on the game’s second pitch as Shin-Soo Choo hit a homer into the shrubbery beyond the center-field fence. The home run extended his on-base streak to 45 games, the longest in the majors this season.
McCann put the Tigers ahead with a two-run homer in the second inning, but Zimmermann and Colon took over after that.
The Tigers had the next significant threat, putting runners on the corners with two out in the fifth, but Jones grounded out to end the inning. Jones, though, homered off Colon in the eighth to make it 3-1.
Rangers: Choo returned to the lineup after sitting out Thursday. Choo is limited to playing designated hitter because of a sore quadriceps, and Adrian Beltre started there Thursday after an emergency dental procedure.
Tigers: Closer Shane Greene had tests on his sore pitching shoulder Clark Harris Jersey , and they showed no significant problem. Greene is eligible to come off the disabled list on July 12.
The game ended at 9:15 p.m., forcing the postgame fireworks show to be held well before the sky was dark.
The teams continue their four-game series on Saturday, with Cole Hamels (4-7, 4.05) pitching for Texas against Detroit’s Mike Fiers (5-5, 3.79).
When he was much younger and brasher, LeSean McCoy recalled informing the league's older running backs of how he was going to one day chase them down in the record books.
A month shy of his 30th birthday, the Buffalo Bills veteran is suddenly beginning to realize how the tables have turned.
"I hang out in the offseason with a lot of running backs like (Todd) Gurley and (Le'Veon) Bell, and the way they view me is like the old head baller, " McCoy said Tuesday, referring to the Rams and Steelers star running backs. "It drives me. Now it's like reversed. Now it's 'OK, I'm still an elite player, but these young guys are creeping on me.'
"So I've got to continue to do better and be better."
Nothing has slowed him down yet, entering his fourth year in Buffalo and 10th in the NFL.
McCoy is coming off a season in which he had 1,138 yards rushing, and 1,586 yards from scrimmage (including 448 receiving) for the fifth-best totals of his career.
"What can I say, it's been a great ride. And I look forward to having a big year again," McCoy said, speaking to reporters for the first time this offseason Bob Lilly Jersey , and after the Bills opened a three-day mandatory minicamp.
"I'm excited about this year. I'm excited to be back in that offense where it's hitting on all cylinders."
How quickly the offense can begin clicking is an uncertainty given the offseason turnover.
With third-year starter Tyrod Taylor traded to Cleveland, Buffalo is breaking in a new quarterback after drafting Wyoming's Josh Allen in the first round and signing AJ McCarron in free agency. Brian Daboll takes over as coordinator after Rick Dennison was fired in January. And the line's being revamped after center Eric Wood retired and guard Richie Incognito was released.
Though he'll miss Taylor, McCoy likes what he's seen from Allen, who is being developed behind McCarron and second-year holdover Nathan Peterman.
"I've got to be honest. He's pretty good, and I'm not a big fan of rookies," McCoy said of Allen.
"It's still early. I don't want to make him Jim Kelly already, he just has to learn different things," McCoy said, referring to the Bills Hall of Fame quarterback. "He's got a lot on his plate. But other than that, just talent-wise and intelligence, he has it to be a starting quarterback and also a franchise quarterback."
McCoy's biggest concern is losing Wood and Incognito, who played big roles in helping Buffalo rank no worse than sixth in the league in yards rushing in each of the past three years.
"I would be lying if I told you it didn't matter," he said.
Otherwise, McCoy was in a playful mood.
He questioned how he fell from 27th to 30th on the NFL Network's top 100 player rankings.
"I think I should never go past 25," said McCoy, whose jersey number happens to be 25. "If the 25 dude's better than me, I don't see it. But that's just my opinion. And I'm known to have an opinion, and you can quote that for sure: 25. Bam! Always."
He bantered with McCarron after the quarterback praised the running back before recalling how he was still in high school when McCoy played college.
"Other than the age, you did pretty good Adam Shaheen Jersey ," he said to McCarron.
When it comes to age, McCoy has all but run out of contemporaries to pass. His 10,092 yards rushing rank third among active running backs, behind only Frank Gore (14,026) and Adrian Peterson (12,276), and 29th on the career list.
What particularly stands out has been McCoy's consistency. He's among only 15 players to top 1,100 yards from scrimmage in eight straight seasons, according to Pro Football Reference.
McCoy was wowed when informed the list includes his idol Barry Sanders, who topped 1,100 yards in 10 straight seasons, and that he's tied with Bills' Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas.
"Thurman has eight? Well, I'm going to get nine this year," said McCoy, who has befriended Thomas since arriving in Buffalo.
After a brief pause, McCoy added: "But Thurman's better than I am."
NOTES: Allen earned his first opportunity to practice with the starters after spending the team's 10 voluntary spring sessions working with the third-string offense. ... LB Matt Milano did not practice because of a hamstring injury.
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