ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Detroit Tigers had the right runner on first base.
Nook Logan, one of the fastest players in baseball, scored the game-tying run all the way from first on a wild pitch in the seventh inning and the Tigers went on to a 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
An inning later, Carlos Pena hit a hard shot that Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira couldn't handle to break the tie and each team added one more run, but it was the two-run wild pitch that was the turning point.
With Omar Infante and Logan on second and first with infield singles, Rangers reliever Kameron Loe threw a fastball that ricocheted off the mask of umpire Fieldin Culbreth and rolled to the backstop. Catcher Sandy Alomar had trouble finding the ball and when he did, he made things worse by throwing it past Loe at home and toward second base.
Infante scored easily, and Logan never stopped running in anticipation of an error. The Tigers center fielder said the team had been told all week to assume an errant throw after a passed ball or wild pitch.
But trying to score all the way from first? Well, that takes speed few players other than Nook possess.
"There's a couple people who could do it," Nook said. "That one wasn't too bad. It was just like stealing a base."
Tigers manager Alan Trammell wasn't so sure it was that easy.
"Omar had something to do with it," Trammell said. "He also runs well. But that was Nook Logan's extra run because of his speed."
Loe said a miscommunication led to the wild pitch. Alomar, a six-time All-Star who is a part-time starter in Texas, had called for a slider.
"It's just one of the weird things that happens," Loe said. "There's no real big explanation for it. It's one of those days where not everything goes our way."
The Tigers scored the go-ahead run in the eighth off Ron Mahay (0-1), who was the second of three relievers to follow Rangers starter Pedro Astacio. Brandon Inge added a sacrifice fly in the ninth for a two-run lead.
Jamie Walker (2-0), who got two outs in the seventh, was the winner. Rangers pinch-hitter David Dellucci led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run against Ugueth Urbina, but the reliever held on for his third save.
Astacio went six innings for the Rangers, allowing two runs and six hits and striking out four.
It was his best outing since he pitched eight innings in a 3-0 win over Oakland on April 19. That was his last victory before the start of a disastrous stretch for the newest addition to the Rangers' rotation this season.
In his previous three starts, Astacio had given up 19 runs in 10 2/3 innings. Against Cleveland on Friday, Astacio was pulled in the first inning after giving up seven runs and recording just two outs.
Rangers manager Buck Showalter was pleased to see the outing from Astacio, who might have gotten a win if not for the strange seventh.
"Take away the cross-up and it might have been a whole different story," Showalter said. "But you can't."
Detroit starter Wilfredo Ledezma, like Astacio, was also trying to turn things around after three straight losses.
In the fourth, Ledezma scooped up Teixeira's slow roller to start the inning but dropped the ball while applying the tag. He walked Alfonso Soriano and hit Richard Hidalgo to load the bases before walking Mark DeRosa. Alomar followed with a two-run single for a 3-2 lead, with all three runs unearned.
Ledezma left after five innings, giving up three runs and three hits. He struck out four and walked three.
The Rangers scored in the sixth on a single by Hidalgo after Kevin Mench tripled.
The Tigers led 2-0 in the fourth on Marcus Thames' fourth home run following a double by Dmitri Young.
Michael Young, who was 0-for-4 as the Rangers' designated hitter, made his first start of the year not playing shortstop. He and Teixeira are the only Rangers to have started every game. ... Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was 0-for-5, finishing 0-for-14 with five strikeouts in the series against his former team.