ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Elvis Andrus drove in the winning run with a ninth-inning single to lift the Texas Rangers to a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.
Justin Smoak, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier in the day for his major league debut, led off the ninth with a walk off Fu-Te Ni (0-1).
Smoak advanced to second on Matt Treanor's sacrifice bunt, and pinch hitter Ryan Garko was intentionally walked.
Ryan Perry walked pinch hitter Nelson Cruz to load the bases, and Andrus drove in pinch runner Joaquin Arias from third with a line drive to right-center.
Vladimir Guerrero homered and reached base three times for Texas. He hit a two-run homer in the first, doubled and later scored in the fourth, and walked in the eighth.
The Rangers got strong work from their bullpen until closer Naftali Felix faltered in the ninth for his first blown save after converting his first two opportunities of the season.
Feliz retired the first two hitters he faced in the ninth, but he gave up an infield single to Austin Jackson, a double to Johnny Damon, and Magglio Ordonez tied it at 4 with a two-run single.
Feliz (1-0) got the decision when the Rangers rallied in the bottom of the inning.
Miguel Cabrera had two RBIs for the Tigers.
Tigers starter Max Scherzer gave up four runs — three earned — and five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Scott Feldman had been scheduled to start for Texas, but had a stomach virus and the Rangers decided to give him an extra day to recover, giving the ball to Rich Harden.
Harden allowed two runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out five and walked four while throwing 99 pitches.
Harden went on regular rest because of last Monday's off day.
In the first, Michael Young singled and Guerrero ripped a two-out homer onto the grass hitter's background in center field.
Guerrero gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the fourth when he doubled, went to third on Scherzer's wild pitch, and scored when an error was charged to Tigers catcher Alex Avila.
Avila tried to scoop the ball with his mask on the wild pitch, an illegal play that cost Avila an error and allowed Guerrero to cross the plate.
Cabrera's two-run single in the fifth narrowed the deficit to 3-2. Rookie Brennan Boesch's single later in the inning loaded the bases and ended Harden's outing. Nippert got Brandon Inge to line into a double play on his first pitch to keep Texas in front, 3-2.
Young's RBI ground-out in the fifth stretched Texas' advantage to 4-2.
Notes: The Tigers placed OF Carlos Guillen on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and called up Boesch from Triple-A Toledo. Boesch was the DH in the No. 5 slot and doubled in the second inning on his first major league at-bat. ... Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler had 10 at-bats and four innings on defense during an extended spring training game in Arizona on Friday. Kinsler is on the 15-day DL due to a sprained right ankle sustained during spring training and there's no timetable for his return. ... Cruz missed the start due to a right hamstring problem. Cruz, who leads the Rangers with seven homers, DHed on Thursday night in Boston after leaving the two previous games early as an outfielder. ...The Tigers didn't arrive at their hotel in Texas until 6:30 a.m. after an all-night flight from California. ... The Rangers returned from a 3-6 trip.