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
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
”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
”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
”Detroit has a pretty good lineup,” Tepesch said. ”I just
have to take the positives from this start and be ready for the
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.