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Rangers rally from six down, clip Tigers 7-6

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers picked a bad time to go into their worst slump of the year.

The second place Chicago White Sox are coming to town and have their sights set on the AL Central leaders.

Hank Blalock hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth, Gary Matthews throw to the plate kept the lead the next inning and the Texas Rangers held on after overcoming a six-run deficit for a 7-6 win over Detroit on Sunday.

Texas has won nine of 11 games to stay in the AL West race, 5½ games behind Oakland.

"These guys believe in themselves," Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu.

The Tigers insist they do, too, despite losing nine of 12.

Detroit's 10-game lead in the AL Central has been cut to 5½ games over the White Sox after padding the best record in baseball by reaching 40 games above .500 on Aug. 8.

"The attitude in here is we're still the best team in baseball," said Craig Monroe, who had two RBI. "We have some tough games coming up, but this is what it's all about."

Detroit begins a four-game series Monday at home against the White Sox.

After the Tigers scored six runs in the second inning against John Koronka, Texas' bullpen shut them down.

Josh Rupe, Joaquin Benoit (1-1) and Ron Mahay combined for 6 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, setting up Akinori Otsuka to pitch the ninth for his 26th save in 29 chances.

The Tigers have won 11 games when trailing after seven innings and six more when starting the ninth behind, but couldn't rally to beat the Rangers the past three games -- losing by four runs combined.

"The bullpen, the whole series, did a fantastic job," said Wakamatsu, who filled for Texas manager Buck Showalter as he served the final of his four-game suspension. "It was a big series for us."

Koronka gave up six runs, six hits, three walks and didn't have a strikeout. He started for Texas for the first time since Aug. 5 in place Vicente Padilla, who was suspended, like Showalter, for his role in an on-field altercation Wednesday with the Los Angeles Angels.

Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman allowed six runs -- five earned -- 11 hits and two walks, blowing a huge cushion.

"That's sad when I can't hold onto a six-run lead," he said.

Jason Grilli (1-2) gave up Blalock's single in the sixth. Wilfredo Ledezma and Fernando Rodney did not give up a run over 3 2/3 innings, giving the Tigers a chance to come back.

"We're playing just good enough to get beat," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

The Rangers overcame the 6-0 deficit with two runs in the third, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and another in the sixth.

"The approach was to not try to get six runs right away," Wakamatsu said. "We didn't come out there hacking."

It was Texas' biggest comeback since beating Oakland 8-7 on May 25 after trailing by seven runs seven runs after five innings.

Lee doubled and scored on Blalock's single, putting Texas ahead 7-6 in the sixth to cap the rally.

The Rangers preserved the lead when Magglio Ordonez was thrown out at home by Matthews to end the seventh inning after Brandon Inge singled to center.

"It looks like he was safe," Leyland said. "But that's not fair to the umpire. That's after seeing it five or six times."

Brent Clevlen sparked a six-run second with the first of seven hits in the inning, the most for the Tigers in an inning this year.

Clevlen tripled, bringing in two runs and scored on Vance Wilson's single, surpassing Detroit's runs scored from the previous two games. Ivan Rodriguez doubled and scored along with Wilson on Monroe's double. Marcus Thames singled, chasing Koronka, and Ordonez followed with an RBI single to make it 6-0.

Notes

  • Detroit acquired Neifi Perez from the Chicago Cubs on Sunday for a minor league catcher Chris Robinson, adding infield depth less than a week after losing second baseman Placido Polanco because of a shoulder injury.
  • Otsuka became the first Texas pitcher to have three saves in three days since Francisco Cordero from July 28-30, 2005.
 
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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Jeremy Bonderman attempts to cool off after allowing six runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.  (AP)
Jeremy Bonderman attempts to cool off after allowing six runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

I. Kinsler
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
Detroit

I. Rodriguez
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF5121011 .313
Michael Young, SS5011011 .306
Carlos Lee, LF4220102 .295
    Jerry Hairston Jr., LF0000000 .204
Mark Teixeira, 1B5000014 .282
Hank Blalock, 3B5012010 .288
Mark DeRosa, RF5120010 .325
Matt Stairs, DH4010013 .265
Ian Kinsler, 2B3221100 .306
Rod Barajas, C4122002 .258
Totals4071372613 
Batting
2B - Gary Matthews Jr. (39, Bonderman), Carlos Lee (26, Grilli), Ian Kinsler (20, Bonderman)
3B - Gary Matthews Jr. (5, Bonderman)
RBI - Gary Matthews Jr. (65), Michael Young (81), Hank Blalock 2 (76), Ian Kinsler (42), Rod Barajas 2 (36)
2-OUT RBI - Gary Matthews Jr. (27), Ian Kinsler (14), Rod Barajas (16)
SB - Ian Kinsler (9, 3rd base off Bonderman/V. Wilson)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Gary Matthews Jr. 1
DP - Blalock-Kinsler-Teixeira, Young-Kinsler-Teixeira
Texas Rangers
John Koronka 1.1666300 5.69
Josh Rupe 2.2300010 4.61
Joaquin Benoit (W,1-1) 3400040 5.09
Ron Mahay (H,9) 1000100 3.47
Akinori Otsuka (S,26) 1000020 2.08
WP - Josh Rupe (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Koronka 49-30, Josh Rupe 45-26, Joaquin Benoit 45-30, Ron Mahay 20-11, Akinori Otsuka 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Koronka 1-2, Josh Rupe 4-2, Ron Mahay 1-2, Akinori Otsuka 1-0
Batters Faced - John Koronka 12, Josh Rupe 10, Joaquin Benoit 12, Ron Mahay 4, Akinori Otsuka 3
Detroit Tigers
Ivan Rodriguez, 1B3120210 .299
Craig Monroe, DH5122003 .283
Marcus Thames, LF3010102 .264
   a- Sean Casey, PH1000000 .287
Magglio Ordonez, RF5021012 .295
Carlos Guillen, SS4100111 .306
Omar Infante, 2B4130011 .269
Brandon Inge, 3B4010015 .242
Brent Clevlen, CF4112012 .364
Vance Wilson, C4111011 .273
Totals3761364717 
a-grounded out for Thames in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ivan Rodriguez (21, Koronka), Craig Monroe (27, Koronka)
3B - Brent Clevlen (2, Koronka)
RBI - Craig Monroe 2 (67), Magglio Ordonez (81), Brent Clevlen 2 (6), Vance Wilson (16)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Brent Clevlen 1
E - Ivan Rodriguez (2, ), Vance Wilson (1, )
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman 4.21165240 3.86
Jason Grilli (L,1-2) 0.2111000 3.80
Wil Ledezma 1.2100000 2.39
Fernando Rodney 2000020 3.31
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 103-73, Jason Grilli 14-8, Wil Ledezma 15-8, Fernando Rodney 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 6-5, Jason Grilli 1-1, Wil Ledezma 1-3, Fernando Rodney 3-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 28, Jason Grilli 3, Wil Ledezma 5, Fernando Rodney 6
Game Information
Attendance - 39071
Game Time - 3:11
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg