ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers needed this.
The entire season has been all about injuries, ineffective play and underachievement.
Following the 4-3 victory over Seattle on Wednesday, the talk was about building on winning two of the final three games on a five-game homestand and dealing with the possibility of not having Prince Fielder for an extended period of time.
Fielder didn't leave with the team for Detroit on Wednesday afternoon to begin a four-game series against one of the best teams in baseball, his former team. Fielder (neck) will see Dr. Drew Dossett on Thursday with the hope he can return at some point this weekend.
"We have to continue to do the same thing," said shortstop Elvis Andrus, whose two-run homer gave the Rangers an early 2-0 lead. "We have to be aggressive. We have to try and score first. And every time we score first, we play better. We control the game, especially the next team we're going to play.
"[The Tigers are] playing great baseball, and for us to maintain and score first it's going to help us a lot."
The Rangers got a solid outing from starter Nick Tepesch, who allowed three runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings while tossing a career-high 112 pitches. His only mistake was a pitch to Robinson Cano that was hit fpr a home run over 400 feet to tie the score at 3.
Tepesch settled down and convinced manager Ron Washington to keep him in the game to face Dustin Ackley with one out in the seventh. Tepesch walked John Buck and Washington had seen enough. He took Tepesch out and used recently demoted starter Robbie Ross to face Stefen Romero.
On two pitches, Ross was able to get Romero out on a double play on a ball hit to Adrian Beltre at third.
The rest of the Rangers bullpen maintained the lead. Joakim Soria closed out the ninth for his eighth save.
But now the Rangers visit the Detroit Tigers for four games and will be minus Fielder, at least on Thursday. Staff ace Yu Darvish goes in Game 1 with the objective to start a win streak for a Rangers team that has won consecutive times just twice this month.
"He's a big part of our team," right fielder Alex Rios said of Fielder. "When he's out there, he makes a huge difference. He makes our lineup so much stronger. Hopefully, we can get him back, but right now we're focusing on what we have to do."