Arlington, TX – David Murphy stroked a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth and the Texas Rangers won a slugfest, 11-8, over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday in the finale of a four-game set.
Texas recorded 18 of the 31 total hits for the game, which featured five lead changes and saw Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera hit three home runs for just the second time in his career.
Murphy's blast off Jose Ortega (0-1) represented three of the 10 runs scored for Texas between the fifth and seventh innings, with the left fielder finishing 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Adrian Beltre had four hits and knocked in a pair of runs, while Lance Berkman and Mitch Moreland had two RBI apiece to help the Rangers take three of four in this set and collect their 12th win in 16 games.
Robbie Ross (2-0) tossed a scoreless seventh inning to pick up the win and Joe Nathan locked down his 13th save in the ninth.
Despite knocking in five runs and going a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, Cabrera was unable to keep the Tigers from dropping their eighth contest in 12 tries.
Neither starter made it through five innings, with Texas starter Derek Holland getting tagged for four runs on eight hits and needing 106 pitches to get through 4 2/3 frames. Detroit's Doug Fister lasted just as long, giving up five runs on nine hits.
"You have to tip your hat to the guy," Holland said of Cabrera. "The guy is swinging the bat hot right now. You have to give a lot of credit to him."
After serving up homers to Cabrera in his previous two at-bats, Texas chose to walk the Detroit slugger in the sixth and load the bases for Prince Fielder. The move didn't pan out, as Fielder ripped a bases-clearing double into the gap in left center to put the Tigers back on top, 7-5.
The lead didn't last for long, though, as Murphy came to the plate in the bottom half with two men aboard. He pulled Ortega's 3-2 pitch into the seats in right field and supplied Texas with an 8-7 advantage.
"We just made some horrible pitches late in the game," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We felt like [Ortega] was perfect for that spot. We were a little bit short, obviously."
Ortega continued to flounder, as he gave up another run after loading the bases and surrendering an infield hit to Moreland. Center fielder Andy Dirks prevented the inning from getting any worse, as he made a spectacular over the shoulder catch near the wall on Geovany Soto's fly ball to end the inning.
The Rangers added some insurance in the seventh off Detroit reliever Phil Coke. Leonys Martin led off the frame and his bloop into left went for a double after a misguided diving attempt from Matt Tuiasosopo. Leury Garcia reached with a sac bunt and Elvis Andrus' groundout put runners on second and third before a sac fly from Murphy and an RBI single from Berkman pushed Texas' edge to 11-7.
Cabrera stayed perfect at the plate and launched his third homer and second solo shot of the game with two out in the eighth, but the Tigers were never able to get any closer than three runs from there.
After Tuiasosopo got thrown out at the plate in the top of the second, the Rangers grabbed the early edge in the bottom half on a Moreland sacrifice fly.
Holland gave up three straight hits to start the third, with Cabrera ripping a three-run blast into right to stake the Tigers to a 3-1 lead.
Cabrera's next turn at the plate came in the fifth, and again made the most of it. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, he slugged another homer off Holland, this one to straight away center, to give Detroit a three-run cushion.
Texas then roared back in the bottom half with its first of consecutive four- run innings. After pulling within two on an Andrus groundout, Murphy drew a walk to put runners at the corners and Berkman laced a two-out RBI single. Beltre then put the Rangers in front, 5-4, when his shallow fly ball dropped just inside the third-base line for a two-run double.
Fister has surrendered 19 runs and 28 hits in 13 2/3 combined innings over three starts at Texas ... Cabrera extended his road hitting streak to 17 games ... The last time Cabrera hit three homers in a game was a May 28, 2010 contest against Oakland ... The Tigers were just 3-for-14 with RISP ... Texas placed infielder Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday and recalled infielder Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock.