ARLINGTON, Texas – Rookie Mike Olt's pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Nelson Cruz with the winning run in the Texas Rangers' 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night.
Olt drove a 2-2 pitch from Phil Coke past diving third baseman Miguel Cabrera and into left field. Cruz easily beat the throw home.
Cruz and Michael Young each drew four-pitch walks from Brayan Villarreal (3-3) in the bottom half. Coke relieved and got two outs before Olt delivered the winning hit.
Olt, called up from Double-A Frisco on Aug. 1, was mobbed by his teammates near first base. The Rangers remained 5 1-2 games ahead of Oakland in the AL West.
Austin Jackson led off the game with a home run for the Tigers, who remained one game behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.
Mike Adams (2-3) escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the ninth to earn the victory.
Cabrera was forced out at home on Brennan Boesch's slow grounder to first, and Jhonny Peralta lined out to center to end Detroit's threat.
Texas left-hander Derek Holland matched Detroit ace Justin Verlander in a rematch of last season's ALCS.
Holland tied a season high with nine strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings. The left-hander allowed three hits and walked one.
Holland was 1-2 with a 7.00 ERA over his previous four starts. He got off to a rocky start when Jackson homered on the fourth pitch of the game and Omar Infante followed with a single.
After that, Holland allowed only a walk to Cabrera in the fourth and Peralta's single in the fifth.
Verlander allowed seven hits and one run in seven innings. The reigning AL MVP struck out eight in a 118-pitch outing.
Verlander, who retired the final 10 batters he faced, leads the majors with 174 strikeouts.
Jackson homered on a 1-2 pitch leading off the game. It was Jackson's ninth career leadoff shot and fifth this season.
The Rangers had three consecutive singles with two outs in the third. Cruz's broken bat RBI hit capped the rally and tied the game at 1.
Notes: The Rangers celebrated their 40th anniversary in Texas by honoring their all-time team and inducting radio broadcaster Eric Nadel into the team's Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony. Both teams wore their 1976 uniforms as part of the celebration. . Detroit's Rick Porcello (9-6) will face Texas rookie Yu Darvish (11-8) in the series finale Sunday. . Texas RHP Koji Uehara, who has been on the disabled list since June 10 with a right lat strain, will throw a bullpen session on Sunday.