Rick Porcello tossed 5 2/3 solid innings and the Detroit Tigers snuck past the Texas Rangers, 2-1, in the second test of a four-game series.
Porcello (2-2) gave up one run on five hits while striking out six for the Tigers, who snapped a two-game skid. Alex Avila and Miguel Cabrera each knocked in a run for the victors.
"He's been aggressive and he's got a better breaking ball and he's using his changeup," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Porcello's success. "He's been around the plate good, make them put the ball in play. He's been very good."
Geovany Soto hit a solo homer for the Rangers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Nick Tepesch (3-4) allowed two runs on six hits over five innings.
"Tepesch did his job, we just couldn't deliver a punch," Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted. "I think you have to just give the credit tonight to Detroit Tigers pitchers."
The Tigers had a runner thrown out at the plate in the third. Andy Dirks singled to center and moved to second on Torii Hunter's groundout. He was then tagged out at home while trying to score on Cabrera's base hit to center.
Texas put a runner on third with two outs in the fourth, but Mitch Moreland grounded out.
Detroit scored both of its runs in the fifth. Dirks led off with a single, advanced to second on Hunter's groundout and raced home on Cabrera's double off the wall in left. Fielder was hit by a pitch and Victor Martinez singled to load the bases. Avila's sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
Soto led off the bottom half of the frame with a homer to left.
Texas left men on the corners in the sixth and eighth frames. Moreland grounded out to end the sixth, while Nelson Cruz grounded into an inning- ending double play in the eighth.
The Rangers had one last chance to tie the game in the ninth. Jose Valverde gave up a one-out walk to Soto. Pinch-runner Ian Kinsler moved to second on Jeff Baker's groundout. Craig Gentry also grounded out to end the game.
Cabrera went 3-for-4 ... Porcello improved to 3-3 lifetime against the Rangers ... Valverde recorded his fourth save of the season ... Texas went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.