ARLINGTON -- The Texas Rangers had their chances and the pitching staff kept them within a swing of the bat to change the outcome.
But that clutch hit never came on Friday night, as the Detroit Tigers held on for a 2-1 victory over the Rangers.
Texas starter Nick Tepesch pitched out of jams the first four innings. He benefitted from a nice defensive play in the third inning when center fielder Leonys Martin threw out Andy Dirks at the plate on a single by Miguel Cabrera.
Tepesch, though, couldn’t get out of trouble in the fifth. Dirks led off with a single and scored on a double by Cabrera. Cabrera eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Avila, as the Tigers took a 2-0 lead.
The Rangers cut the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom half of the fifth, as Geovany Soto homered for the second time in as many nights.
But that was all the Rangers would get off Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who went 5 2/3 innings, and four relievers.
Texas had its chances throughout the game, but never capitalized.
Martin had a one-out triple in the third, but Elvis Andrus lined out and Leury Garcia struck out to end the inning. In the fourth, Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre led off with singles but Nelson Cruz bounced into a double play and Mitch Moreland grounded out to end the threat.
The Rangers squandered another opportunity in the eighth. Garcia led off with a single and, two batters later, Beltre singled to put runners on the corners with one out. But Cruz bounced into another double play, as Rangers went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Tigers closer Jose Valverde worked around a one-out walk in the ninth, ending the game by getting Craig Gentry to ground out.-- Drew Davison