Tigers 2, Rangers 1

With a little help from slugger Miguel Cabrera, Rick Porcello

and the Detroit Tigers slowed down the Texas Rangers.

Cabrera went 3 for 4 with a go-ahead double in the fifth inning

to back Porcello and lift the Tigers over the Rangers 2-1 Friday

night in a matchup of division leaders.

Texas had scored 51 runs in its past eight games, going 7-1 in

that stretch. Porcello and four relievers, however, cooled off a

Rangers offense that knocked out ace Justin Verlander in the third

inning Thursday night.

Cabrera broke a scoreless tie with an RBI double off the wall in

left that scored Andy Dirks. Cabrera scored later in the fifth to

provide the Tigers with just enough offense to give manager Jim

Leyland his 1,699th career victory.

”We had some opportunities and we were able to score just

enough runs to beat them today,” Detroit catcher Alex Avila said.

”And on the flip side, our guys were able to keep it at a minimum

when they had opportunities. We were able to get out of big

jams.”

Porcello (2-2) allowed one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings

with six strikeouts and a walk as the Tigers rebounded from a 10-4

loss Thursday night.

The 24-year-old Porcello is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts

since giving up nine runs in two-thirds of an inning April 20

against the Los Angeles Angels.

Detroit remained tied with the Cleveland Indians atop the AL

Central.

”I think I’m in a little bit of a groove for sure,” Porcello

said. ”I’m getting better results now, so it’s nice.”

Joaquin Benoit escaped a first-and-third jam with one out in the

eighth when he induced Nelson Cruz’s double-play grounder. Cruz

also bounced into a double play in the fourth when the Rangers had

runners on first and second with nobody out.

The Rangers, owners of the best record in the AL, went 0 for 8

with runners in scoring position.

”You want to be up in those situations,” Cruz said. ”I just

hope to get another chance so I come through.”

Jose Valverde got three groundouts around a one-out walk to

Geovany Soto in the ninth, getting his fourth save in five chances

this season.

”You don’t expect a 2-1 ballgame in this ballpark too many

times,” Leyland said. ”It’s a lightning rod and you can hit it

out of here at any time.”

Soto homered for a second straight game, a solo shot off

Porcello in the fifth that brought the Rangers within 2-1.

Rookie Nick Tepesch (3-4) gave up two runs, six hits and three

walks in five innings as Detroit stopped the Rangers’ three-game

winning streak.

”Detroit has a pretty good lineup,” Tepesch said. ”I just

have to take the positives from this start and be ready for the

next one.”

Dirks led off the fifth with a bloop single to center and

advanced to second on a groundout.

Cabrera, hitting .509 (27 for 53) with runners in scoring

position, lined an 0-1 pitch off the wall in left field near the

out of town scoreboard for his AL-leading 42nd RBI. Cabrera scored

on Avila’s sacrifice fly.

Cabrera nearly put Detroit ahead in the third when he singled to

center with Dirks on second base. Leonys Martin made a perfect

throw to Soto at the plate for the out.

NOTES: Texas RHP Alexi Ogando, placed on the DL Thursday with

right biceps tendinitis, underwent an MRI that showed no structural

damage. … Texas 2B Ian Kinsler did not start because of bruised

ribs after he was hit by a Verlander pitch Thursday night. Kinsler

entered in the ninth as pinch runner. … Detroit’s Torii Hunter is

two home runs shy of 300 in his career. … Rangers RHP Justin

Miller (right elbow surgery) was scheduled to begin a rehab

assignment Friday night at Double-A Frisco.