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Tigers pull off huge rally

Tigers pull off huge rally
DETROIT -- What Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge did Sunday in the eighth inning was pull a rabbit out of their caps.

They got the game-tying and winning hits for the Detroit Tigers in a six-run inning that was pure magic. The comeback enabled Detroit to pull out a 6-4 win and three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers.

Guillen was nursing a sore right Achilles tendon and batting .143 without a hit in the series. He was down 0-2 in the count to Rangers reliever C.J. Wilson, who had 24 saves in 28 opportunities last year.

Guillen seemed to be hanging by a thread.

But he fought off a tough 2-2 pitch by fouling it away before pulling a double into the left field corner to tie the score at 4-4.

"That was an unbelievable, great at-bat," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's going in and fighting."

He made the Rangers pay for putting the winning run on base in the eighth inning by walking cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera with one out.

"Nobody wants to face Cabrera right now, he's one of the best hitters in Baseball," Guillen said. "If I'm the manager, I walk Cabrera."

He got in front of Wilson's slider and hit it fair just inside the line. It skipped to the corner while Guillen, who is day-to-day with his injury, came out for pinch-runner Josh Anderson.

"I just tried to do my best for my team," Guillen said.

Warner Madrigal came in to pitch, and intentionally walked pinch-hitter Marcus Thames to again load the bases. Gerald Laird went down swinging for the second out.

Inge, who hit his 100th career homer in his 999th game to start the rally, came to bat. He said he was "sitting on a fastball all the way."

He got it on the second pitch and laced it up the middle for a single that scored the go-ahead and insurance runs. The 18,905 in the stadium made the noise of double that number of fans before and after Inge delivered.

"I had to tone myself down a bit and step out of the box," Inge said. "I had chills, and had to gather myself. No matter how many are here, if they get loud, it's loud."

Leyland praised Inge for "a good piece of hitting," and commended him for finally taking to the suggestions of hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Inge hit .205 last year with 11 homers and 51 RBIs, and saw the need to change.

"My hands are now freed up," said Inge, who holds them away and back, "and I'm mentally taking the right approach."

"That was as happy an inning as I could have in the turnaround. I had to make adjustments to be as good as I need to be. Now I feel like I'm just scratching the surface, and can do a lot more."

Inge is batting .304 with four home runs and seven RBIs after one week, and is one behind Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria for the major league home run lead. He also made a slick fielding play in the top of the ninth to assure leadoff hitter Nelson Cruz didn't reach on an infield hit.

Fernando Rodney got his second save in as many days. Brandon Lyon got the win by throwing two perfect innings in relief of starter Edwin Jackson, who allowed two-run homers to Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler over six innings.

Kevin Millwood pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four singles and no walks. But his bullpen failed to hold the 4-0 lead, and a key error by shortstop Elvis Andrus helped the walls cave in on him and the Rangers.

It seemed like the script of many a Tigers loss last season.

But now Detroit's bullpen has a string of seven perfect innings, allowing comebacks in the last two games.

"We've got a great offense if you can just keep us in there," Inge said.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 15, 2009

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