ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Gary Sheffield moved into familiar company with career homer No. 493.
Sheffield hit a two-run drive in Detroit’s four-run seventh, Curtis Granderson added two triples and four RBIs and the Tigers held on for an 8-7 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
Sheffield went 3-for-5, scored two runs and tied New York Yankees Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 25th on the career home run list. Sheffield and McGriff were teammates with the San Diego Padres in 1992-93 when Sheffield was in his mid-20s.
Sheffield, who also played for the Yankees for three seasons, said the homer was a tribute to McGriff.
“It feels good, but it’s hard to explain,” Sheffield said. “It’s more about McGriff than anybody else. I know I always looked at and admired him most.”
Sheffield’s homer came on a sinker by Scott Feldman, who used the same pitch to retire the slugger on a popup to end the fourth.
“The guy pitched a great game,” Sheffield said. “He made very little mistakes. He made one against me. He’s been getting me out with that pitch before. It was a hard sinker in. Basically I just made an adjustment so I was able to get out in front of it and keep it from getting in on the handle.”
Said Feldman: “I wish I could have had that one back.”
The slumping Tigers won for the third time in eight games.
“Two good things came out of it,” manager Jim Leyland said. “The fact that we came back after being down with their guy pitching a good game. And it looked like we could have given it up. We could have come in (to the clubhouse) a real sad bunch, but we didn’t. To come on the road and win against a team that can really hit I thought was pretty good.”
The Tigers trailed 3-0 before the big seventh, and added four more in the eighth to make it 8-3. Brandon Inge tied it with an RBI single off Frank Francisco (2-5) in the seventh and Granderson’s triple to right-center made it 4-3.
Granderson came up with bases loaded in the eighth and hit a two-out triple to center, his ninth of the season.
All four Detroit runs in the eighth were unearned. Third baseman Travis Metcalf’s error on Edgar Renteria’s grounder allowed Sheffield to score and set up Granderson’s triple.
“We make that play and it’s a different game,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Texas scored four runs in the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto had a two-run double, Joaquin Arias had a pinch run-scoring double and Michael Young drove in a run with a groundout.
Fernando Rodney struck out Josh Hamilton, leading the majors in RBIs, to end the eighth and got the final three outs for his fifth save in nine chances.
Kenny Rogers (9-10) benefited from the seventh-inning rally against his former team, snapping a personal four-game losing streak. He allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings.
Feldman, knocked around for 12 runs and 10 hits in 2 2-3 innings in his previous start at Boston on Aug. 12, gave up three runs and five hits in six-plus innings.
The Rangers (62-64) lost for the 10th time in 12 games, slipping two games under .500 for the first time since they were 31-33 on June 7.
The Rangers were without All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sports hernia. Kinsler will visit a specialist on Tuesday and could be headed for season-ending surgery.
Rangers LF Brandon Boggs left the game in the seventh with a sore right shoulder. He’s day to day. … Tigers RHP Armando Galarraga, a Fort Worth native and ex-Rangers farmhand, makes his first start against his former club in Texas on Tuesday night. Leyland knows Galarraga, traded by the Rangers to the Tigers in February, will be pumped up, “but it would be the biggest mistake of his life if he goes on the mound hoping to show the Rangers something. That’s high school (stuff).” … Rangers DH Milton Bradley was back in the lineup after missing the previous two games with back and sinus problems. … Rangers RHP Brandon McCarthy pitched seven innings of three-hit shutout ball for Triple-A Oklahoma on Sunday night and has 13 scoreless innings in two outings. That sets up McCarthy for a possible start Friday night against Cleveland. McCarthy has been out all season with right forearm inflammation. If McCarthy gets Friday night’s start, rookie Matt Harrison would be pushed back to Saturday.