David Murphy’s three-run shot was barely enough against Miguel Cabrera’s three home runs.
Murphy put Texas ahead for good with a drive just over the wall in right field in the sixth inning, helping the Rangers spoil the second three-homer game of Cabrera’s career with an 11-8 victory on Sunday.
“Very nice to be on the winning side,” Murphy said. “Big game, fun game, national TV. We got to witness the best hitter in the game hit three homers.”
Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the third inning and a solo shot in the fifth off Derek Holland, then went deep again in the eighth against Tanner Scheppers.
Cabrera, last year’s American League Triple Crown winner and this year’s leader in averages and RBIs, went four for four with five RBIs and has 11 homers, one off the American League lead. Still, the Tigers lost three of four games to the Rangers.
“I’ve never seen a guy that puts the bat head on the ball as regular as he does and on all pitches,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He’s just a tremendous hitter. I’m very happy that he’s headed to the airport.”
Murphy’s home run gave the Rangers an 8-7 lead and answered a bases-loaded double from Prince Fielder that put Detroit up by two after the Rangers had walked Cabrera intentionally, even though first base was not open.
The go-ahead shot came against Jose Ortega (0-1), who had not allowed a run in six relief appearances covering seven innings.
Robbie Ross (2-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the win, while Joe Nathan worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 13th save. He has saved all 36 career chances against Detroit.
Elsewhere, Justin Masterson struck out a season-high 11 in seven shutout innings, while Michael Brantley homered and drove in four runs off Felix Hernandez as the Cleveland Indians produced a 6-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Matt Moore pitched seven innings of five-hit ball to stay unbeaten, while Luke Scott and Matt Joyce homered as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 for a three-game sweep.
In other American League games, the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 5-1 for their fifth straight win, the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2 and Yeonis Cespedes hit a leadoff homer in the eighth inning as the Oakland Athletics beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in Oakland to complete a three-game sweep.
In the National League, Freddy Galvis and Erik Kratz each homered off closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth inning, helping the Philadelphia Phillies secure a stunning 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Chapman (3-2) blew his second straight save opportunity after converting his first eight chances this season.
In Miami, Ricky Nolasco struck out 11 as the Marlins stopped a season-high seven-game losing streak by holding off Arizona 2-1. The Diamondbacks scored once in the ninth.
Mike Dunn, the Marlins’ third pitcher of the inning, got pinch-hitter A.J. Pollock to ground out on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end it.
The New York Mets earned their first series win at Wrigley Field since 2007 when Daniel Murphy hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning for a 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.
In other National League matches, the Atlanta Braves had a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2, the Colorado Rockies defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-0 and the San Diego Padres crushed the Washington Nationals 13-4.