Ten days after Jim Leyland let loose a clubhouse rant that could be overheard outside closed doors, the crusty Detroit manager had little to complain about.
A modest three-game winning streak for a team that started the season 6-13 helps. So did a 19-run outburst Wednesday night from its high-priced, big-name lineup that helped pull the Tigers from the AL Central cellar.
Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run homer and Carlos Guillen had three of his five RBIs in an 11-run sixth inning, sending Detroit past the Texas Rangers, 19-6.
Jacque Jones also homered as Detroit scored its most runs this season. The Tigers, who lost their first seven games and were 2-10, are now 9-13 and percentage points ahead of Cleveland in the division.
``It's coming along good. Very positive for us,'' Ivan Rodriguez said. ``It's a lineup, from one to nine, we can hit.''
The Tigers led 7-6 going into the sixth, when they had their biggest inning since scoring 11 in the sixth inning on April 23, 2004, against the Cleveland Indians.
After Rodriguez sacrificed two runners over, Guillen hit a two-run double. Magglio Ordonez then walked, and Jamey Wright gave up Cabrera's three-run homer to make it 12-6.
Wes Littleton relieved and gave up the final six runs in the inning, hitting Ramon Santiago with the bases loaded for his first run. Curtis Granderson doubled in two more, Rodriguez hit a run-scoring double, Guillen had a sacrifice fly and Ordonez had a run-scoring single.
``I think it was a combination of real good hitting and a couple of bad pitches for their team,'' Leyland said. ``But the biggest thing was walks.''
In other AL games, it was the Los Angeles Angels 6, Boston 4; the New York Yankees 6, the Chicago White Sox 4; Baltimore 3, Seattle 2; Oakland 3, Minnesota 0; and Tampa Bay 5, Toronto 3.
The Indians game at Kansas City was rained out and will be made up as part of a Thursday night doubleheader.
While the Tigers finally appear to be on the upswing, the Rangers are headed in the other direction. They've lost six straight, fell to 7-15 and speculation is building that manager Ron Washington could soon be on his way out.
``Any time a team is in a losing streak, the manager's job is on the line,'' Washington said. ``It falls on me when the team isn't playing well. I'm the manager. ... That's the way it goes.''
Rangers pitchers walked 10 and hit two batsman. Both of the hit batters and three of the walks surrendered came in the sixth.
``Our pitchers took a serious beating tonight,'' Washington said. ``They threw too many pitches over the plate and they were hit hard.''
The last time the Rangers gave up so many runs in an inning was also against the Tigers. Texas allowed 13 to Detroit in the ninth inning in Arlington on Aug. 8, 2001, in a 19-6 loss. Rodriguez was the Rangers' catcher in that game.
Clay Rapada (2-0) pitched 1 2-3 perfect innings in relief, striking out two, for Detroit.
Rangers reliever Frank Francisco (0-1) allowed two runs in 2 1-3 innings.
Angels 6, Red Sox 4
At Boston, Casey Kotchman's solo homer put Los Angeles ahead in the sixth, Gary Matthews Jr. hit two solo homers and the Angels snapped Boston's six-game winning streak.
Kotchman hit his sixth of the season off Craig Hansen (0-1). Matthews hit solo shots in the first and fifth off Jon Lester, who started because Daisuke Matsuzaka had flulike symptoms.
Jon Garland (3-2) allowed four runs in six innings.
Yankees 6, White Sox 4
At Chicago, Mike Mussina pitched seven strong innings and moved ahead of Bob Gibson on the career wins list with victory No. 252, and the Yankees won again without Alex Rodriguez.
Mussina (3-2) moved into sole possession of 42nd place on baseball's wins list after losing two straight to Boston. The 39-year-old allowed two runs and four hits while striking out three.
Javier Vazquez (3-2) gave up a season-high 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings for Chicago.
Orioles 3, Mariners 2
At Seattle, Nick Markakis tied the game with a ground out and then hit a tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning off Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-1).
Daniel Cabrera (2-0) allowed five hits and two runs in eight innings. He struck out five and retired his final 11 batters. The man who led the AL with 108 walks last season walked none.
Athletics 3, Twins 0
At Oakland, Calif., Mike Sweeney returned to the starting lineup for the first time in six games and ended a 39-game homerless streak spanning 140 at-bats with a solo shot.
Chad Gaudin (2-1) went seven innings and retired 11 straight and 18 of 19 during one stretch on the way to his second straight victory. The right-hander was efficient, too, throwing only 84 pitches. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter for the first time in four starts.
Boof Bonser (1-4) allowed two runs on three hits in six innings, striking out two.
Rays 5, Blue Jays 3
At Kissimmee, Fla., Evan Longoria drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to help the Rays rally against Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays in a game played at Disney World.
Longoria's hit was the big blow in a four-run sixth against Halladay (2-3), who carried a 3-0 lead into the inning, thanks to a pair of homers by streaking Matt Stairs. Carl Crawford and Eric Hinske also had RBI singles off the Toronto ace, who's lost two straight complete games.
Jason Hammel (2-1) allowed three runs, struck two and walked four in six innings. Troy Percival worked a perfect ninth for the second straight night, earning his third save.
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