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April 12, 2011

Miguel Cabrera leads Tigers to late win over Rangers

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera delivered a two-out single in the ninth inning off Darren O'Day to give Detroit a 5-4 walk-off victory Tuesday afternoon in a game that saw the Rangers lose outfielder Josh Hamilton to strained right shoulder in the first inning.

The Rangers had given C.J. Wilson a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, but the left-hander couldn't cleanly field a tapper by Ramon Santiago that scored an infield hit. The next hitter, Ryan Raburn, doubled in the tying run, and would score the go-ahead run on a two-out single by Brennan Boesch.

After Wilson and Pedro Strop worked out of a jam in the seventh, Nelson Cruz brought home Michaal Young with a two-out singled to tie the game at 4-4. Young had been robbed of a three-run homer by Raburn in the third inning that instead resulted in a sacrifice fly.

Brandon Inge started the ninth with a single to left field off O'Day and moved to second after a sacrifice bunt by catcher Alex Avila. Denton native Austin Jackson walked, and Santiago struck out before O'Day walked Raburn to get to Cabrera.

Hamilton left the game after two head-first slides on consecutive plays. He drove in the Rangers' first run with a one-out triple, but he had to dive head-first to be the relay throw from the outfield. Compounding matters, Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge tumbled onto the reigning American League MVP.

The next batter, Adrian Beltre, hit a popup in foul territory that both Inge catcher Victor Martinez pursued. Inge made the catch, and Hamilton took off for home as pitcher Brad Penny failed to cover it. Inge flipped the ball to Martinez, who stretched to tag out a diving Hamilton.

Hamilton stood up holding his back as he went to the dugout. He was removed from the game immediately, even though he was the designated hitter and had the luxury of waiting until his next at-bat to decide if he needed to leave the game.

-- Jeff Wilson
 

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