DETROIT – The offense executed, Alexi Ogando pitched well and the upgraded bullpen halted a Tigers rally.
In the end, the Texas Rangers salvaged the final game of the three-game series, pulling away for a 5-2 victory over the Tigers on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
The Rangers (62-50) will have at least a one-game lead in the American League West over the Angels, who play Thursday night.
Ogando continued his success against the Tigers, holding them scoreless threw the first six innings. He got into trouble in the seventh.
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The Tigers led off with consecutive singles by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Ogando retired Carlos Guillen on a popup in foul territory, but then gave up run-scoring singles to Wilson Betemit and Ryan Raburn.
That ended the night for Ogando (11-5), who went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts.
Manager Ron Washington got to use his new and improved bullpen to shut down the Tigers’ rally, though. Darren Oliver retired the lone batter he faced, Jhonny Peralta, and then Koji Uehara got pinch-hitter Magglio Ordonez to fly out.
Mike Adams pitched a scoreless eighth, and Neftali Feliz earned his 22nd save with a perfect ninth.
The Rangers’ offense came through, too.
They took a 1-0 lead in the second on a bizarre scenario. With Nelson Cruz at second and Mike Napoli at first with no outs, Mitch Moreland grounded out to first. Napoli was then caught in a rundown and eventually tagged out.
Cruz, meanwhile, charged home on the play, and was safe after catcher Victor Martinez dropped the throw home. The throw was in time to complete the triple play, and Martinez was charged with an error.
Texas scored three more runs in the fourth. Michael Young, Cruz, Napoli and Moreland opened the inning with four consecutive singles, and Ian Kinsler had a run-scoring single later in the inning.
Kinsler’s single snapped what had been a 1 for 32 slump.
The Rangers cushioned their lead with a run in the seventh coming on an RBI triple by Young. With two hits, Young heads home five hits shy of joining the 2,000-hit club.
-- Drew Davison