Josh Hamilton cashed in on Jose Valverde's wildness and put the Rangers on the board in the ninth with an RBI grounder, but it came a little too late.
The Tigers handed the Rangers a 4-1 defeat Wednesday to snap a seven-game losing streak. Texas, which ends its road trip at 5-2, avoided being shut out for just the second time this season.
Rangers starter Colby Lewis had just two wobbly frames, allowing two runs apiece in the second and seventh innings, the latter being his last. He allowed four runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out five before giving way to Doug Mathis.
Lewis' Tigers counterpart, Max Scherzer, also went seven innings, shutting down the Rangers bats with five strikouts and just four hits allowed. Valverde had a difficult time finding the strike zone and hit Vladimir Guerrero in the ninth before closing out the win.
Former Rangers Gerald Laird bashed a two-run shot in the second for Detroit.
The Rangers' closest chance to break through came in the fourth with a leadoff triple by Michael Young, but the heart of the lineup left him stranded against Scherzer.
Texas maintains a five-game lead on the Angels, who visit Arlington for a four-game series that begins Thursday.