Teagarden, Young help Rangers overcome blown lead vs. Tigers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rookie Taylor Teagarden is supposed to be more of a defensive catcher. However, it's the power he's displayed during his brief stay in the majors that has the Texas Rangers fired up about his future.

Teagarden hit his first career grand slam and had a career-high five RBIs, Michael Young hit a tiebreaking single and the Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers 11-8 on Monday night.

"I think it's great for his confidence, especially when he comes with a tag that he's not supposed to be an offensive player," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I just hope he keeps it up as long as there are games on the schedule."

Teagarden, a member of the bronze medal U.S. Olympic team, has six homers and 17 RBIs in 12 major league games this season.

Teagarden, batting ninth, hit his bases-loaded homer in the sixth to rally Texas from a 5-3 deficit to a 7-5 lead.

"I'm seeing the ball well," Teagarden said. "[Washington] is giving me a chance to get a lot of at-bats, sticking me in the 9 hole where I can see a lot of pitches. I'm just trying to take advantage of it."

Detroit carried an 8-7 edge into the eighth, but Texas took the lead against Kyle Farnsworth (2-3) on Teagarden's RBI double and Young's go-ahead single.

Marlon Byrd's two-run triple later in the eighth extended Texas' advantage to 11-8, sending Detroit to its fifth straight defeat.

Placido Polanco's eighth-inning RBI single off Frank Francisco had given the Tigers an 8-7 lead.

Francisco (3-5) got the final out in the eighth, then worked the ninth for the decision.

Gary Sheffield hit his 497th career homer for Detroit.

Dontrelle Willis pitched five innings in his long-awaited return to the Tigers rotation, leaving with a 4-3 lead.

Willis allowed three runs and two hits with four strikeouts, but gave up five walks and is still seeking his first win for the Tigers.

Detroit acquired Willis and infielder Miguel Cabrera from the Florida Marlins last December in a blockbuster trade that cost Detroit six prospects.

Cabrera, who went 3-for-5, has been the Tigers' top run-producer, but Willis spent most of the season in the minors. He lowered his major league ERA from 10.32 to 8.82 this season, but still has walked 26 batters in 16 1/3 innings.

"I didn't really know if I would pitch in the big leagues again this season, so it was a big game for me," Willis said. "I've got to cut down on the walks."

Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy left in the first inning with a strained flexor tendon in his right middle finger.

McCarthy got the first two outs, then began shaking his hand after delivering a pitch to Ordonez.

Washington and team trainers ran the mound to check on McCarthy, who could not continue.

The team medical staff will monitor McCarthy's injury over the next few days to determine if surgery is necessary.

"He felt something pop when he threw a pitch," Washington said.

Sheffield lined a three-run blast in the fourth off Josh Rupe, his 17th of the season to make it 4-0. Sheffield is 25th on the career home run list, seven behind No. 24 Eddie Murray.

Travis Metcalf had a three-run homer in the fourth for Texas.

Detroit's bullpen lost two leads, which has been a problem all season.

"It's a downer for you, obviously," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Everybody's trying to do their job, but over the course of the year we've let way too many leads get away. That's a killer for your team."

Leyland was ejected in the sixth inning for disputing a hit-by-pitch decision that went in Texas' favor.

Gary Glover threw a pitch close to Texas' Max Ramirez, and home plate umpire Eric Cooper originally called it a ball.

But Cooper consulted with first base umpire Angel Hernandez, and the call was overturned, with Ramirez being awarded first base. Replays showed that Ramirez was struck by the pitch.

Leyland ran into the field to argue, returned to the dugout, then continued to yell at Cooper, who ejected Leyland. An angry Leyland sprinted back onto the field to get in his final words before exiting the dugout.

Game notes
DH Milton Bradley was out of the Texas lineup due to a left wrist injury, then struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth. He's missed seven of the last nine starts because of wrist and back problems. ... Leyland was tossed for the fourth time this season. ... With three RBIs, Sheffield has 1,629, moving one past Harold Baines and into 27th place on the career list. ... The Rangers transferred 2B Ian Kinsler from the 15- to the 60-day DL. Kinsler had sports hernia surgery last week.