ARLINGTON – Rookie Mike Olt's pinch-hit single through the left side of the infield in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Nelson Cruz for the winning run in a 2-1 victory against Detroit on Saturday night.
Mike Adams (2-3), who pitched the Rangers out of a jam in the top of the ninth, earned the victory.
Derek Holland gave up a leadoff home run and a single to start the game, but then retired 22 of the next 24 batters he faced in going toe-to-to with Tigers Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander for 7 2/3 innings. Holland gave up three hits and struck out nine in a 102-pitch effort.
Verlander pitched seven innings, giving up seven hits and one run, eight strikeouts and no walks.
The Rangers opened up the bottom of the ninth with consecutive walks to Cruz and Michael Young
Phil Coke relieved Brayan Villarreal (3-3) and got Craig Gentry to pop out and struck out Geovany Soto before Olt moved on deck to hit for Mitch Moreland.
The Rangers strung together three consecutive singles, including one by Nelson Cruz that scored Josh Hamilton, but otherwise the bats were held down against Detroit's Cy Young Award winner.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the ninth after Robby Ross and Alexi Ogando each allowed walks to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, and Delmon Young reached on a single off Adams, the third Rangers reliever.
Adams, though, recorded the next two outs. Moreland threw out Cabrera at home on pinch-hitter Brandon Boesch's fielder's choice, and Hamilton chased down Jhonny Peralta's fly to center to end the threat.
-- John Henry