ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Miguel Cabrera went 3 for 4 with a go-ahead double in the sixth inning to back Rick Porcello and lift the Detroit Tigers over the Texas Rangers 2-1 Friday night in a matchup of division leaders.
Jim Leyland earned his 1,699th win as a major league manager as the Tigers remained tied with Cleveland atop the AL Central.
Porcello (2-2) allowed one run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings with six strikeouts and a walk as the Tigers rebounded from a 10-4 loss to Texas on Thursday night in which ace Justin Verlander was knocked out in the third inning. Porcello is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in four starts since giving up nine runs in two-thirds of an inning April 20 against the Los Angeles Angels.
Geovany Soto homered in his second straight game, a solo shot off Porcello leading off the fifth that cut the Rangers’ deficit in half.
Joaquin Benoit escaped a first-and-third jam with one out in the eighth when he induced Nelson Cruz’s double-play grounder.
Jose Valverde got three groundouts around a one-out walk to Soto in the ninth, getting his fourth save in five chances this season.
Rookie Nick Tepesch (3-4) gave up two runs, six hits and three walks in five innings as Detroit stopped the Rangers’ three-game winning streak.
Andy Dirks led off the fifth with a bloop single to center and advanced to second on a groundout.
Cabrera, hitting .509 (27 for 53) with runners in scoring position, lined an 0-1 pitchoff the wall in left field near the out of town scoreboard for his AL-leading 42nd RBI. Cabrera scored on Alex Avila’s sacrifice fly.
Cabrera nearly put Detroit ahead in the third when he singled to center with Dirks on second base. Leonys Martin made a perfect throw to Soto at the plate for the out.
NOTES: Texas RHP Alexi Ogando, placed on the DL Thursday with right biceps tendinitis, underwent an MRI that showed no structural damage. … Texas 2B Ian Kinsler did not start because of bruised ribs after he was hit by a Verlander pitch Thursday night. Kinsler entered in the ninth as pinch runner. … Detroit’s Torii Hunter is two home runs shy of 300 in his career. … Rangers RHP Justin Miller (right elbow surgery) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday night at Double-A Frisco.