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Rangers club 4 homers to finish sweep of Tigers

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continued their climb into the American League Wild Card race by completing a three-game sweep of the Tigers with a 12-6 victory Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.

The Rangers, with their seventh win in their past 10 games, are now just two games behind the second Wild Card spot. They are one game behind in the loss column. The Tigers, who finished a stretch of 20 straight games without a day off, lost for the 10th time in their last 12.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers continued their climb into the American League Wild Card race by completing a three-game sweep of the Tigers with a 12-6 victory Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.

The Rangers, with their seventh win in their past 10 games, are now just two games behind the second Wild Card spot. They are one game behind in the loss column. The Tigers, who finished a stretch of 20 straight games without a day off, lost for the 10th time in their last 12.

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"It would be tough to point to any one thing," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's a combination of all things, the defense we've played, the pitching we have been getting and the offense showing up."

Rangers starter Cole Hamels wasn't at his best, but he still earned his third straight victory despite allowing four runs in six innings. Hamels allowed four hits, including home runs to Ian Kinsler and Mikie Mahtook. He walked a season-high five -- one intentional -- while raising his record to 8-1 with a 3.48 ERA.

Video: DET@TEX: Hamels fans Upton in the 1st inning

"When you go out there and put the team behind early and the team's able to get you a few runs, you want to go out there and try to put up zeros as fast as possible to maintain that momentum," Hamels said. "It's a tough game. What we were able to do, you really just gotta give it to the hitters. They really came out and got the runs. They answered when we needed [them] to, and they put even more runs on the board."

Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez allowed a pair of two-run home runs to Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre before leaving the game with one out in the third with tightness in his left hamstring.

Video: DET@TEX: Sanchez exits with an apparent injury

The game was 4-4 into the bottom of the fifth before Elvis Andrus hit his 16th home run of the season off Tigers reliever Chad Bell to put the Rangers ahead for good.

Video: DET@TEX: Andrus laces a solo homer to center field

The Rangers hit four home runs, including No. 35 for Joey Gallo, and tied a season-high with 17 hits. Delino DeShields, Andrus and Mazara all had three hits each.

Video: DET@TEX: Gallo crushes a solo homer to right-center

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hamels overcomes erratic command: Hamels was not as sharp as he has been, and that was evident in the fifth, when he walked Kinsler and Mahtook to start the inning. They moved up on Justin Upton's fly ball to deep center, then Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases. Hamels came back to strike out John Hicks and induced Nicholas Castellanos to hit a check-swing popup down the line in shallow right field. That appeared to be trouble, but second baseman Rougned Odor raced out and made a tough running catch to end the threat.

Video: DET@TEX: Odor races back to make a nice running grab

"It comes down to pitching, and you have to be able to make big pitches in big moments," Hamels said. "Obviously, I've been there before, and you just have to trust the fact that I have what it takes to be able to do it, and I've got enough pitches that I can make the right pitch at the right time and kind of use their aggressiveness against them."

Factory run outlet: The Rangers' first five runs came on home runs, but they were able to manufacture four runs in the sixth against three Tigers relievers to take a 9-4 lead. They took advantage of a couple of walks and a couple of Tigers errors, and DeShields beat out a sacrifice bunt for a hit. The big hits were a two-run single by Andrus and an RBI single by Mazara.

Video: DET@TEX: Andrus knocks in a pair on single to center

"Everybody is feeling good," Mazara said. "We are looking for our pitch and putting it in play. When we do that, we are a tough team to face."

Mazara turning into RBI machine

Kinsler leads off deep: Leading off for the Tigers, Kinsler hit the second pitch of the game from Hamels into the left-field seats for a home run. It was his sixth leadoff home run of the season and 46th of his career, tied for fourth all-time with Jimmy Rollins.

Video: DET@TEX: Kinsler slugs a leadoff jack to left

QUOTABLE
"Look at our bullpen. It's extremely young. We have two guys with more than three years of service, and everyone else has got less than one year of active time on a big league roster. So there's going to be some growing pains, and we've seen some of those growing pains the last couple days." -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus

Tigers' young bullpen learning on the fly

CABRERA OUT ON REVIEW
Miguel Cabrera lined a one-out drive down the right-field line in the seventh inning against reliever Ricky Rodriguez and tried to turn it into a double against a strong throw from Mazara out of the corner. Cabrera was ruled safe by second-base umpire Angel Hernandez, but the Rangers challenged and the call was overturned. The Rangers lost a challenge in the seventh when James McCann was hit by a pitch from reliever Jhan Marinez and the call was upheld.

Video: DET@TEX: Mazara makes a great throw to nab Miggy

WHAT'S NEXT
Tigers: The Tigers return home and open up a three-game series against the Dodgers at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday at Comerica Park. Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will be on the mound for the Tigers as they face the Dodgers for the first time since 2014.

Rangers: The Rangers open a four-game series against the White Sox with right-hander Tyson Ross on the mound at 7:05 p.m. CT on Thursday at Globe Life Park. The White Sox took two of three from the Rangers earlier this year in Chicago.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.