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May 19, 2013

Wrapping up Rangers win and Miguel Cabrera's three-homer night

Ron Washington echoed the thoughts of everybody in the Texas Rangers’ clubhouse in regards to Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers.

“I’m very happy he’s headed to the airport,” Washington said.

Washington is happy to see the best hitter in baseball leave town on a night he homered three times – in a loss.

The Rangers managed to overcome an impressive night by Cabrera with an 11-8 victory over the Tigers, as they took the four-game series 3-1.

Even though they won, Cabrera was the buzz among the Rangers afterwards.

Cabrera had a three-run shot in the third inning off Rangers starter Derek Holland; a solo homer in the fifth off Holland; and a solo shot in the eighth off Tanner Scheppers.

David Murphy had a pivotal three-run homer in the Rangers’ four-run sixth, but was still impressed by Cabrera’s night.

“It was a big game, a fun game on national TV,” Murphy said. “We got to witness the best hitter in the game hit three homers. Just an all-around great game and one to be happy we came out on top of.”

Said Adrian Beltre: “We’re facing the best hitter in baseball, so to be able to win three out of four is really good.”

Catcher Geovany Soto joked that he had become tired of trying to figure out how to pitch to Cabrera, who finished the series 9-for-16 (.563).

“That guy is a great hitter, he covers outside/inside, hard/soft, he’s pretty locked in right now,” Soto said. “You’ve got to tip your hat to him. He’s figured it out for now and he’s unbelievable.”

It was a windy night at Rangers Ballpark, but all three of Cabrera’s homers would have been gone in any park. His three homers combined to travel an estimated 1,250 feet.

“He got all of them,” Soto said. “He’s really squaring them up and it’s impressive to see.”

It was Cabrera’s second career three-homer game, as he did against Oakland on May 28, 2010. Cabrera is also now batting .391 with 13 doubles, six homers and 33 RBIs over 28 games at Rangers Ballpark, which further explains why Washington is happy to see Cabrera leave town.

Here are some other postgame notes:

* Texas improved to 29-15, the best 44-game start in franchise history, and have won five of its last six.

* David Murphy went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer and four RBIs, batting in the two-hole for the second straight game. It was his first homer since May 12, and the Rangers’ now have home runs in 12 straight games. Murphy’s take on the at-bat: “I was down 0-2, and in battle mode to do whatever I can to prolong the at-bat. He gave me a pitch there that I could handle and I got just enough of it.”

* Robbie Ross earned the win after the marathon game. He worked a scoreless inning of relief, and is now 8-0 in his career. That matches the Yankees’ Clay Rapada for the most wins without a loss in major league history. Does it mean anything to Ross? “Nope,” he said. “Honestly, I think wins start to matter when you’re a starter. If I have a start and get a win, it’s a win. Coming in relief, I’m just trying to help the team win.”

* Joe Nathan converted his 13th save of the season, working around a leadoff walk in the ninth. He’s now 13-for-13 this season, matching his best save conversion start to a season in his career (2008).

* It marked the longest game for the Rangers this season, as it lasted 3-hours, 46-minutes. … There were five lead changes. … Ten players in the game had multi-hit nights, including David Murphy, Lance Berkman, Adrian Beltre, Mitch Moreland and Geovany Soto from the Rangers.

-- Drew Davison

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