- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

DETROIT (AP) - Placido Polanco hit a tiebreaking double and five Detroit Tigers pitchers combined on a two-hitter Saturday in a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Nate Robertson (1-0) earned the win with two shutout innings of relief, and Fernando Rodney struck out the side in the ninth for his first save. Detroit’s bullpen didn’t allow a baserunner in four innings of work.

Tigers starter Justin Verlander needed 97 pitches to get through five innings. He allowed three runs _ one earned _ and two hits. He walked four and struck out eight.

Matt Harrison (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs, nine hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings.

Hank Blalock homered and Josh Hamilton drove in two runs for the Rangers, who have lost seven straight at Comerica Park.

Detroit has won the first two games of the series after opening the season by dropping three of four in Toronto.

Texas swept three games at home from the Cleveland Indians to begin the season.

Polanco’s two-out double off Harrison in the sixth scored Adam Everett from first base to give Detroit a 4-3 lead. Everett had singled with one out.

It was Polanco’s second double of the game. He also hit a leadoff double in the fifth and scored the tying run on Marcus Thames’ sacrifice fly.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead on Blalock’s second-inning homer, but the Tigers came back with two in the bottom half.

With one out, Thames and Gerald Laird singled, and Harrison walked Brandon Inge to load the bases. Everett, who came into the game hitting .143, bounced a two-run single between third and shortstop.

The Rangers loaded the bases in the fifth thanks to a walk and two errors before Hamilton flared a two-run single into left to give Texas a 3-2 lead.

Thames’ bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom half made it 3-all.

Notes:@ Verlander has thrown 177 pitches in 8 2-3 innings over his first two starts, allowing 11 runs _ nine earned _ on 10 hits and six walks. … Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya (shoulder) was scheduled to make a rehab appearance for Class-A Lakeland on Saturday.

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