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Rangers top skidding Tigers to stay in AL West race

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- The Texas Rangers did what a lot of teams have failed to do against Detroit.

Akinori Otsuka allowed a leadoff triple in the ninth before getting the middle of Detroit's lineup to hit three straight groundouts, saving a 2-1 win over the Tigers on Friday night.

"To do that against that club is phenomenal," said Don Wakamatsu, who filled in for Texas' suspended manager Buck Showalter.

The Rangers were in a position to beat Detroit, which has had several late-inning comebacks, because Kevin Millwood pitched seven strong innings and Mark Teixeira hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth.

Texas has won seven of nine -- after losing 11 of 16 -- to stay in the AL West race.

Dmitri Young homered for the suddenly skidding Tigers, who have dropped seven of their last 10 games but still have the best record in baseball.

After Craig Monroe's triple in the ninth, the Rangers moved their infield in. Otsuka then got Young, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen out on soft groundouts for his 24th save in 27 chances.

"We couldn't ask for it any better," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We got a man on third, nobody out, and we had three, four and five -- all good hitters.

"It looked like it could be a magical win for the home team, but the pitcher made pitches and we couldn't get the ball to the outfield. I have no problem with that because that's why this is a great game."

The Tigers have won six games when trailing after eight innings and 11 when trailing after seven.

"I was getting ready to run down the tunnel to celebrate," losing pitcher Zach Miner said. "We've done it so many times, it was bound to not happen for us."

Millwood (12-8) allowed only one run and three hits -- two to Young. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter to win consecutive starts after going 0-3 in his previous four.

"Between the last start and this one, I decided to stop thinking so much," Millwood said. "I just tried to play catch with the catcher and simplified things a lot."

After Young's single in the first, Millwood retired 17 of the next 18 Tigers with the exception being Young's solo homer in the fourth, which tied it at 1.

"He's a horse," Leyland said. "That's the Kevin Millwood the Texas Rangers signed."

Millwood signed a $60 million, five-year contract in the offseason.

Teixeira's solo home run in the sixth inning put the Rangers on top.

"I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit," Teixeira said. "I was lucky to get a changeup in the zone."

Miner (7-4) gave up two runs, eight hits and one walk over six innings for the Tigers. The rookie has won only one of his last seven starts after winning six straight.

"Miner was good. Millwood was better," Leyland said. "He had good stuff and obviously shut us down."

Detroit relievers Jason Grilli and Wilfredo Ledezma combined to pitch three innings of hitless relief.

The Rangers went ahead 1-0 in the fourth on Ian Kinsler's RBI single, the third hit of the inning.

Notes

  • Before serving his second game of a four-game suspension, Showalter said he wouldn't attempt to have his punishment reduced. Showalter and pitchers Vicente Padilla and Scott Feldman were suspended for their role in Wednesday night's on-field altercation with the Los Angeles Angels.
  • Detroit LHP Mike Maroth is scheduled to make his third rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Toledo, but Leyland said he won't use a six-man rotation when Maroth is ready to return.
  • Teixeira has 10 homers since the All-Star break after hitting nine in the 88 games before it, and has reached base safely in 40 of his last 41 games.
  • Millwood is 8-2 on the road.
  • Young has six homers in 20 games since being activated following an absence from the team to deal with alcohol and drug problems.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Detroit

D. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Texas

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4010000 .315
Michael Young, SS4000000 .309
Carlos Lee, LF4020000 .295
    Jerry Hairston Jr., LF0000000 .207
Mark Teixeira, 1B4111022 .283
Hank Blalock, 3B4110010 .289
Mark DeRosa, RF4010000 .328
Matt Stairs, DH4010022 .265
Ian Kinsler, 2B2011100 .305
Rod Barajas, C3000004 .254
Totals33282158 
Batting
HR - Mark Teixeira (19, Miner)
RBI - Mark Teixeira (73), Ian Kinsler (41)
SB - Carlos Lee (15, 2nd base off Miner/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 5
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (W,12-8) 7311041 4.58
C.J. Wilson (H,6) 0.1000010 3.77
Wes Littleton (H,2) 0.2100000 1.69
Akinori Otsuka (S,24) 1100000 2.16
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 97-65, C.J. Wilson 3-3, Wes Littleton 11-7, Akinori Otsuka 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 12-5, Wes Littleton 2-0, Akinori Otsuka 3-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 24, C.J. Wilson 1, Wes Littleton 3, Akinori Otsuka 4
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF4000011 .267
Craig Monroe, LF4010000 .281
Dmitri Young, DH4121001 .281
Magglio Ordonez, RF4010002 .294
Carlos Guillen, SS4000022 .305
Ivan Rodriguez, C3000011 .299
Sean Casey, 1B3000010 .290
Brandon Inge, 3B3010000 .244
Omar Infante, 2B3000000 .260
Totals32151057 
Batting
3B - Craig Monroe (2, Otsuka)
HR - Dmitri Young (6, Millwood)
RBI - Dmitri Young (19)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Craig Monroe 1, Magglio Ordonez 1
DP - Monroe-Infante
Detroit Tigers
Zach Miner (L,7-4) 6822131 4.15
Jason Grilli 1.2000000 3.65
Wil Ledezma 1.1000020 2.55
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Miner 100-61, Jason Grilli 14-12, Wil Ledezma 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Miner 10-3, Jason Grilli 1-4, Wil Ledezma 2-0
Batters Faced - Zach Miner 25, Jason Grilli 5, Wil Ledezma 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39327
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Jerry Meals, Third Base - Andy Fletcher