DETROIT (AP) — Marlon Byrd hit a tiebreaking triple in the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers 9-6 on Tuesday night after blowing a three-run lead in the eighth.
Brad Wilkerson hit a three-run homer and Sammy Sosa had two RBIs for the last-place Rangers, who won for the sixth time in seven games and beat AL Central-leading Detroit for the second consecutive night. Byrd knocked in three runs during an 8-3 victory Monday.
Tigers closer Todd Jones (1-4) retired the first two batters in the ninth, but Michael Young walked and Sosa singled before Byrd hit a sharp liner to right that got by Magglio Ordonez and scored both runners. Ramon Vazquez followed with an RBI single, knocking Jones out of the game.
Akinori Otsuka (2-1), who allowed three runs in the eighth, got the win. Eric Gagne pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances. He struck out Ordonez, the major leagues’ batting leader, with two on to end it.
Otsuka went into the eighth with a 6-3 cushion and a 10-game scoreless streak, but couldn’t hold the lead.
The Tigers loaded the bases with one out, and Sean Casey’s two-run single pulled Detroit within a run. Craig Monroe followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the score.
The Rangers’ ninth-inning rally was their second in three innings. They took the lead with five runs in the seventh.
Jason Grilli started the inning by hitting Victor Diaz with a pitch, and Gerald Laird followed with a double. That brought Tim Byrdak into the game, but Wilkerson hit his second pitch into the tunnel beyond the right-field fence for his ninth homer.
Errors by third baseman Brandon Inge and left fielder Craig Monroe let the Rangers add a fifth run. Sosa’s ground-rule double to left — his second of the game — made it 6-3.
The Tigers scored twice in the first after loading the bases on an infield single and a pair of walks.
Carlos Guillen made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly and Casey followed with an RBI single off the glove of third baseman Travis Metcalf.
After that, Nate Robertson and Willie Eyre hooked up in a pitchers’ duel until Curtis Granderson hit his 10th homer in the fifth.
Granderson became the first player since Nomar Garciaparra in 2003 to reach double figures in doubles, triples and homers before the All-Star break.
On the next pitch, Placido Polanco hit a line drive that hit Eyre in the chest. As he fell to the ground, the ball happened to land in his glove for the second out of the inning. He stayed down for several moments, but eventually walked off the field under his own power.