The Rangers stopped a three-game losing streak and handed Detroit starter Max Scherzer his first loss of the season after a 13-0 start with a 7-1 victory Saturday night at Comerica Park.
Within striking distance: The Rangers assured themselves that they would be at worst a game behind Oakland in the American League West entering the final day before the All-Star break. The A's played Boston late Saturday night in Oakland.
Moreland goes deep: Mitch Moreland hit a home run for the first time since June 4, a two-run shot for his 13th of the season to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. It was Moreland's first home run in 70 at-bats. Moreland has been hitting to all fields in the past few games, and it paid off for him Saturday night.
Holland outduels Scherzer: Scherzer was trying for the first 14-0 record since 1986, but it was Holland who stole the show, winning for the eighth time this season. Holland allowed four runs or fewer for the 18th time in 19 starts. He went at least seven innings allowing two runs or fewer for the eighth time this season. Holland worked out of trouble early in the game and got stronger as he went along, finishing with seven strikeouts.
Getting out of the third: The Rangers took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth, but it was Holland's work in the bottom of the third that might have won the game. He loaded the bases with two outs on a walk to Prince Fielder then got ahead of Victor Martinez with a 1-2 count. Holland threw two straight sliders in the dirt, the second one that Martinez swung at and missed.
AJP gets clutch hit: The Rangers grabbed a key insurance run when Leonys Martin stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Detroit catcher Brayan Pena. But it took a two-out bloop hit from A.J. Pierzynski to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead. Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre had both failed to come up with a productive out with Martin at third base before Pierzynski came through with his crucial hit.
Beltre hits another HR: Beltre hit his 21st home run of the season in the top of the ninth, giving the Rangers a 7-1 lead. It was his third homer of the road trip. It also was his 367th home run of his career, passing teammate Lance Berkman for 74th on MLB's career home run list.
Soria so strong: How good is Joakim Soria? He made Miguel Cabrera look human in the bottom of the eighth, getting the Tigers slugger to fan on a breaking ball in the dirt. Soria did allow a one-out hit to Fielder in the inning but was able to hold on to a 4-1 lead with a sliding catch in left field by David Murphy and a strikeout of Jhonny Peralta.
Up next: On Sunday, left-hander Martin Perez (3-1, 2.08 ERA) goes up against Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (9-6, 3.71) at 12:08 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540 AM.