Series: Game 1 of 3

Texas leads 1-0 (as of 8/3)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 3
Game 2: Wednesday, August 4
Game 3: Thursday, August 5

Rangers 5

(58-46, 27-29 away)

Tigers 4

(50-56, 27-26 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 3, 2004

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 003100100 5 9 0
    DET 001003000 4 8 1

    W: F. Francisco (3-1)

    L: N. Robertson (9-6)

    S: F. Cordero (32)

    Young helps Rangers edge Tigers

    DETROIT (AP) -- The Texas Rangers were afraid that a seven-game road trip might turn a slump into a disaster.

    For one night at least, their worries were unfounded.

    Mark Teixeira and Kevin Mench homered, and Eric Young hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning to lead the struggling Rangers to just their third win in 10 games, 5-4 over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.

    "This game was important, because we didn't want this thing to start gaining momentum," Teixeira said. "We needed to stop it as soon as possible."

    Frank Francisco (3-1) pitched 1 1-3 perfect innings in relief of Kenny Rogers, who failed in an attempt to become the American League's second 14-game winner. Francisco Cordero pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save in 34 tries.

    "This is a good way to start a road trip," Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "Everyone pitched well, and we got some big hits."

    With the game tied at 4 in the seventh, Gary Matthews Jr. led off with a double, took third on Rod Barajas' sacrifice bunt and came home with the go-ahead run on Young's single to right off Nate Robertson (9-6). All three batters hit the first pitch.

    "I feel like I let the team down," Robertson said. "We tie the game up and I give it back in three pitches."

    The Rangers led 4-1 going into the sixth, but Ivan Rodriguez drew a one-out walk and took third on Dmitri Young's double. Carlos Guillen's RBI single brought the Tigers within two, and after Rondell White walked to load the bases, Marcus Thames singled to tie it.

    Detroit, though, never got another baserunner.

    "People talk about that bullpen as being one of the best, and now you know why," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "They remind me of Minnesota in the way they can shut people down."

    Teixeira, for one, wasn't surprised by Detroit's offensive collapse because of the confidence the Rangers have in their bullpen.

    "Right now, we just assume that every time the bullpen is in the game with the lead, we're going to win," he said.

    Rogers allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Since going to 12-2 on July 5, Rogers is 1-2 in his last five starts.

    "I feel good that we won," he said. "But as a starting pitcher, you always want to win the game yourself."

    Texas took a 3-0 lead in the third on Teixeira's 26th homer. Young and Hank Blalock hit one-out singles and, one out later, Teixeira hit a 2-2 pitch from Robertson into the left-field stands.

    Detroit made it 3-1 in the bottom of the inning on Omar Infante's RBI single, but the Rangers went up again by three on Mench's homer in the fourth.

    "We're just trying to get back into things a little bit," Mench said. "The pitching has been consistent, so we've got to get the hitting going."

    Robertson dropped to 0-2 in his last three starts, giving up five runs in 6 2/3 innings.

    "We sent Nate out for the seventh, because he's a warrior and he deserved a chance to win the game," Trammell said. "It didn't work, but that doesn't change my belief that's he will be a big part of the team when we finally get this turned all the way around."

    Game notes

    The Tigers purchased the contract of right-hander John Ennis from Triple-A Toledo, and designated righty Danny Patterson for assignment. Patterson, who joined the Tigers in 2000 as part of the Juan Gonzalez trade that saw Cordero go to Texas, was 0-4 with a 4.75 ERA in 37 games this season. ... Rangers shortstop Michael Young was a late scratch from the lineup due to back stiffness. He's day to day. The lineup shifts resulted in Eric Young starting at shortstop for the first time in his career. ... RHP Chan Ho Park is scheduled to make a rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... LHP Mike Bacsik will make his Rangers debut as Wednesday's starter. His father, also named Mike, pitched for the Rangers in 1975-77.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press