ARLINGTON, Texas – Scott Feldman was on quite a roll for the Texas Rangers. Then the big right-hander left a changeup over the middle of the plate to Prince Fielder.
Feldman, who had won six consecutive decisions since an 0-6 start, was gone after Fielder's three-run homer with two outs in the sixth. The Detroit Tigers went on to a 6-2 victory over the AL-West leading Rangers on Friday night.
"He's a mistake hitter. He does damage with mistakes," Feldman said. "I was trying to throw down and away, and it was right in his wheelhouse there and he did some damage with it."
Detroit had two outs in the sixth before Andy Dirks reached on an infield single and Miguel Cabrera followed with a single. Fielder's 20th homer made it 4-2.
"I was giving it everything I had to try and get it and prevent those two guys (Cabrera and Fielder) from coming up after that," Feldman (6-7) said. "But it was just a little out of my reach."
Josh Hamilton put the Rangers up 1-0 with his 419-foot homer to straightaway center in the first inning off Max Scherzer (11-6). Hamilton is tied for the major league lead with his 31 homers and 96 RBIs.
Austin Jackson, who is from nearby Denton, had an inside-the-park homer and a triple for the Tigers.
Jackson got his first career inside-the-park homer in the seventh after right fielder Nelson Cruz made a diving attempt to catch the ball, which bounced in front of him and then over his glove and to the wall.
By then, Jackson was in full stride and third-base coach Gene Lamont was waving him home.
"He had that look in his eyes like he wanted me to go, and he sent me," Jackson said. "It's one of those things, you don't think it will ever happen like that."
It was the Tigers' first inside-the-park homer since Curtis Granderson five years ago. Texas hadn't allowed one since Cleveland's Grady Sizemore at Rangers Ballpark in Sept. 24, 2006.
After the play, Cruz appeared to reach for his back but stayed in the game. Two batters later, he dropped Cabrera's easy popup for an error that extended the inning.
Cruz didn't take the field in the top of the eighth and the Rangers said he was out because of lower back stiffness.
"I don't know if it affected him on the dropped ball, I just think he dropped it, but that's a lot of poundage hitting the ground," manager Ron Washington said. "He had a stiff back, so he came out, got some treatment, feeling better. I think he'll be a player tomorrow, we've just got to wait and see."
Scherzer struck out eight in six innings for his 10th win in his last 13 decisions since May 10.
The Tigers, who lost the ALCS in six games to Texas last October, have won 25 of 38 games since losing two straight on their last trip to Texas in late June.
Jackson led off the fourth with a triple to right-center and scored on Cabrera's single. It was Cabrera's 96th RBI, matching him with Hamilton again for most in the majors.
Feldman struck out two and walked one in 5 2-3 innings.
The Rangers said, according to Elias, Feldman was only the second pitcher in major league history to win six consecutive decisions immediately after starting the season with a losing streak of six or more games. Doyle Alexander started 0-8 for the Yankees and Blue Jays in 1983 before winning his next seven decisions.
Texas led 2-0 in the third when Ian Kinsler had a leadoff double and scored on a single by Elvis Andrus, who was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. The Rangers had the bases loaded later in the third, but failed to score any more runs, an inning after getting the first two runners on without scoring.
"There were some chances against Scherzer. All we had to do was put the ball in play and in those situations," Washington said. "We didn't, so it came back and got us."
Notes: Scherzer is 11-3 in 17 career games vs. AL West teams. He is 4-0 in seven starts against the Rangers in regular-season games, and struck out the last three batters he faced. ... CF Hamilton had a sliding catch in the fifth that turned into an inning-ending double play because Alex Avila couldn't get back to first base. ... Avila extended his hitting streak to 11 games with two hits. ... Young had three hits and has a 10-game hitting streak.