Arlington, TX – Texas starter Yu Darvish settled down after a 29-pitch opening frame and remained unbeaten in Arlington.
The Japanese right-hander gutted through seven innings and became the second pitcher in the last 50 years to win his first seven starts at home, as the Rangers downed the Detroit Tigers, 7-5, in the middle test of a three-game set.
Darvish (10-4), who allowed three of the first four Tigers to reach base, retired 19 of the final 22 batters he faced. In all, the 25-year-old fanned 10 and surrendered four runs on four hits and a walk.
"It seemed like the longer the game went the better he got," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was trying to get rhythm again those first few innings. They put some runs on the board, but we came back and answered, and he continued to pound the strike zone."
The only other pitcher to win his first seven home starts was the Montreal Expos' Carlos Perez, who won his first eight home tilts in 1995.
Josh Hamilton belted his 24th homer of the year while Michael Young smacked an RBI triple as part of a game-deciding four-run bottom of the fourth inning for the Rangers, who have won nine of their last 11 games.
Prince Fielder registered two hits, including a two-run homer, to go with four RBI for the Tigers, which had an opportunity to reach the .500 mark for the first time since May 15, when they were 18-18.
"You got a long season and it's frustrating," said Tigers left fielder Quintin Berry of not getting to .500. "You get closer and closer and you fall one back...we'll get there."
Fresh off the disabled list, Drew Smyly (2-3) was touched for six runs on eight hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old rookie had been sidelined since June 11 with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
Trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth, the Rangers surged ahead with their four-run frame.
Adrian Beltre reached with a one-out infield single and scored when Young belted a triple that one-hopped the wall in left center. Nelson Cruz's bloop single to right brought home Young and tied the score.
Cruz stole second during Mike Napoli's at-bat, and after Napoli flied out, Cruz crossed the plate on Yorvit Torrealba's base hit to right. Torrealba, who advanced to second on the throw home, scored on Brandon Snyder's single to center, giving Texas a 5-3 margin.
The clubs traded runs in the fifth as Berry slapped an RBI single in the top half and Elvis Andrus scored on a passed ball in the home half for a 6-4 game.
Hamilton clubbed a towering leadoff shot to center in the seventh, pushing the Texas advantage to 7-4, while Fielder's RBI groundout in the eighth made it a two-run contest.
Joe Nathan struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save of the year.
Earlier, Fielder ripped a two-run double into the gap in left-center for a 2-0 Detroit advantage in the opening frame, but Ian Kinsler, mired in a 2-for-21 slump, helped the Rangers cut the deficit in half as he launched a leadoff homer over the wall in left to make it 2-1 after an inning of play.
Detroit got the run back in the fourth when Fielder cracked a solo blast over the wall in left center, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
Prior to the game, the Tigers optioned Jacob Turner back to Triple-A Toledo...With his 10th win, Darvish surpassed Arizona's Wade Miley for the major-league rookie lead in victories. It was the fourth time this season that he has fanned 10-or-more batters, tied with the Mets' R.A. Dickey for the most in the majors...Hamilton has homers in back-to-back contests on the heels of an 11-game homerless stretch.