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Published: Wednesday, 6/27/2007

Tigers, and skipper, come up short

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Rangers  Michael Young can t stop the Tigers  Curtis Granderson from stealing second base in the first inning.
The Rangers Michael Young can t stop the Tigers Curtis Granderson from stealing second base in the first inning.
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DETROIT - Jim Leyland joked yesterday that he might take eight of his Detroit Tigers to the All-Star game.

A few hours later, it sounded as though he didn't even think he should be going.

"We got outpitched, outmanaged, outplayed and outhit, and we lost the game," Leyland said in a 20-second postgame news conference after a 9-6 loss to the Texas Rangers. "Good night, everybody."

The Tigers led 3-1 after six innings, but the bullpen and defense collapsed. Texas scored five times in the seventh, helped by two errors, and broke a 6-6 tie with three runs in the ninth.

"That was a very exciting baseball game," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They were up and we were up. I'm just glad we finished the game with the most runs."

Tigers closer Todd Jones (1-4) retired the first two batters in the ninth, but Michael Young walked and Sammy Sosa singled when Jones missed a sign from rookie catcher Mike Rabelo.

"I made a ridiculous mental mistake and blew the game," Jones said. "I let the team down, and I let the skipper down. There's absolutely no excuse for what I did. I lose my mind when I see other guys do that, and then I do it myself."

Jones did not elaborate on the mistake, but Rabelo indicated that Jones was supposed to step off the rubber and look Young back to first.

After a discussion at the mound, Marlon 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.

"They had us behind the 8-ball, but we were able to come back," Young said. "That's the story."

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.

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 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.

The Tigers placed right-hander Fernando Rodney on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, retroactive to Sunday with tendinitis in his right shoulder. He is 1-5 with one save and a 5.40 ERA in 27 games this season.

"All I know is that I've been told that it isn't serious," Leyland said. "We're going to shut him down until after the break and get him back to 100 percent."

Rodney, who took over the setup job when Joel Zumaya went down with a finger injury, also was on the DL from May 21 to June 5 with biceps tendinitis.



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