|Texas (13-3) «||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1||3||9||0|
DETROIT -- Alberto Gonzalez squared to bunt, hoping to drive in the go-ahead run on a squeeze play. The ball hit his bat and glanced off his right leg before bouncing off the ground and out toward the pitcher.
Then the Texas Rangers caught a break.
Instead of being called a foul ball, Gonzalez's bunt went for an RBI infield single in the 11th inning, lifting the Rangers to a 3-2 victory against the Detroit Tigers. Gonzalez admitted after the game the ball hit him around the knee -- and a replay confirmed that -- but the play stood.
"As soon as he hit the ball and saw the ball was fair, he didn't stop himself," Gonzalez's translator said. "He was trying to go to first base. He knew the job was done."
The bases were loaded with nobody out when Gonzalez bunted. Right-hander Thad Weber (0-1), who was making his major league debut, had no play at the plate on runner Nelson Cruz. Weber froze with the ball, and first baseman Miguel Cabrera struggled to get back to the bag in time. Everybody was safe, and Texas took the lead.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland came out to argue, but to no avail.
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"I saw just what it did: The ball came down and hit him on the back knee. Clearly. Clearly. That's not even a question," Leyland said. "The ball clearly hit him, and four guys happened to miss it. That's part of the game."
Plate umpire Tim Welke had a chance to watch the replay afterward and said the ball did in fact hit Gonzalez, but his crew hadn't seen that initially.
"We did not see the ball hit anybody on the field," Welke said. "We called what we saw."
Gonzalez appeared to be in the batter's box still when the ball hit him, meaning it would have almost certainly been ruled a foul ball if an umpire had seen the contact.
Josh Hamilton hit a home run for the Rangers.
The Tigers led 2-1 in the eighth -- with rookie starter Drew Smyly in line for his first career victory. But Texas tied it when Elvis Andrus drew a walk, went to second on a wild pitch and took third when catcher Alex Avila's throw to second went into the outfield for an error.
Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly to even the score.
Weber, who was called up from the minors in between games of Saturday's doubleheader, made his major league debut in the 11th. He walked Cruz and allowed singles to Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba, setting up Gonzalez's at-bat with the bases loaded.
"Bases loaded, nobody out and the right person in the batter's box. The guy who was in the batter's box is one of the guys I do my fundamental stuff with," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I had warned him that if this situation came up, look for the squeeze on the first pitch."
Smyly pitched six innings, allowing a run and five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, but he had to settle for his third consecutive no-decision. He has allowed only two earned runs in 16 innings on the season.
Texas starter Colby Lewis allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Hamilton gave Texas a 1-0 lead in the first with his seventh home run of the year, and Michael Young followed with a single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. But Smyly settled in nicely after that.
Detroit tied it in the third when Ramon Santiago hit a leadoff triple and eventually scored on a two-out wild pitch.
In the sixth, Hamilton hit a single and went to second on a groundout. He then took third when -- after one of Smyly's pitches -- catcher Alex Avila's throw went over the southpaw for an error.
Smyly recovered, striking out Cruz and retiring Napoli on a flyball to end the threat.
Brennan Boesch hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the sixth, but Detroit couldn't hold on.
|Alberto Gonzalez connects on a squeeze bunt that turns into a RBI single in the 11th inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||0||0||0||1||0||2||.284|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||4||1||0||0||1||1||1||.230|
|Josh Hamilton, LF-CF||3||1||3||2||1||0||0||.418|
|Michael Young, DH||4||0||1||0||1||0||2||.403|
|Nelson Cruz, RF-LF||3||1||0||0||2||2||3||.250|
|Mike Napoli, 1B||5||0||2||0||0||2||2||.286|
|Yorvit Torrealba, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.273|
|Alberto Gonzalez, 3B||5||0||2||1||0||2||1||.385|
|Craig Gentry, CF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.273|
|a- David Murphy, PH-LF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.333|
|b- Brandon Snyder, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.333|
|c- Mitch Moreland, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.156|
|a-walked for Gentry in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Murphy in the 9th|
|c-grounded into a double play for Snyder in the 11th|
|2B - Alberto Gonzalez (1, Smyly)|
|HR - Josh Hamilton (7, Smyly)|
|SF - Josh Hamilton (2)|
|SH - Yorvit Torrealba (1)|
|RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (17), Alberto Gonzalez (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Josh Hamilton (4)|
|SB - Josh Hamilton (1, 2nd base off Valverde/Avila)|
|CS - Nelson Cruz (2, 2nd base by Smyly/Avila), David Murphy (1, 2nd base by Dotel/Avila)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1|
|Robbie Ross (W,3-0)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.38|
|Joe Nathan (S,4)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.50|
|WP - Colby Lewis (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Colby Lewis 98-64, Alexi Ogando 18-12, Mike Adams 11-8, Robbie Ross 13-7, Joe Nathan 9-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Colby Lewis 6-12, Mike Adams 1-1, Robbie Ross 2-1, Joe Nathan 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Colby Lewis 27, Alexi Ogando 3, Mike Adams 3, Robbie Ross 3, Joe Nathan 4|
|Austin Jackson, CF||5||0||1||0||0||0||1||.274|
|Brennan Boesch, RF||5||1||1||1||0||3||2||.212|
|Miguel Cabrera, 3B-1B||5||0||2||0||0||1||1||.290|
|Prince Fielder, DH||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.317|
|Delmon Young, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.286|
|Ryan Raburn, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.073|
|Alex Avila, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.244|
|Jhonny Peralta, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.264|
|Don Kelly, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.214|
|a- Brandon Inge, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.056|
|Ramon Santiago, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||0||.167|
|a-grounded out for Kelly in the 10th|
|2B - Austin Jackson (4, Lewis)|
|3B - Ramon Santiago (1, Lewis)|
|HR - Brennan Boesch (2, Lewis)|
|RBI - Brennan Boesch (7)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Inge-Avila-Cabrera|
|E - Alex Avila 2 (2, Throwing)|
|Octavio Dotel (H,2)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Joaquin Benoit (H,6)||0.1||0||1||0||1||0||0||3.68|
|Phil Coke (BS,1)||1.2||1||0||0||1||1||0||1.69|
|Thad Weber (L,0-1)||1||3||1||1||1||0||0||9.00|
|WP - Phil Coke (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Drew Smyly 100-65, Octavio Dotel 11-6, Joaquin Benoit 14-7, Phil Coke 28-18, Jose Valverde 16-11, Thad Weber 23-13|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Drew Smyly 8-2, Octavio Dotel 1-1, Joaquin Benoit 1-0, Phil Coke 3-1, Jose Valverde 2-1, Thad Weber 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Drew Smyly 24, Octavio Dotel 3, Joaquin Benoit 2, Phil Coke 7, Jose Valverde 4, Thad Weber 6|
|Attendance - 36255|
|Game Time - 3:38|
|Temperature - 48|
|Umpires - Home - Tim Welke, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Paul Schrieber|