- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - In a Detroit Tigers season filled with disappointment, the late-season re-emergence of Justin Verlander is providing hope for the future.

Verlander allowed one run in six innings Monday, and Tyler Collins’ three-run home run sparked a five-run fifth as the Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 7-4, handing the surprise leaders in the AL West their third straight loss.

The Tigers moved into a fourth-place tie in the AL Central with the idle Chicago White Sox.

Verlander (5-8) gave up a leadoff homer to former Detroit teammate Prince Fielder in the fourth. He allowed six hits and walked two while striking out five.

Verlander, whose season only began in June following a triceps injury, has a 2.05 ERA over his last 10 starts.

“I can’t say I expected to come back in midseason form,” the six-time All-Star said. “That’s kind of a naïve way of looking at things. I had my ups and down the first couple of starts, then settled down and pitched the way I expected to.”

After Fielder’s homer, his 23rd of the season, the Rangers loaded the bases with none out in the fourth. Verlander got Elvis Andrus to fly out to shallow right, Rougned Odor to strike out swinging on three pitches and Chris Gimenez to look at a called third strike on a 3-2 fastball at 96 mph.

“When he felt the game was on the line, he was able to turn it up,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said of Verlander. “He has a knack of stepping on the gas.”

Texas’ Colby Lewis (17-9) allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since June 5.

Collins, who graduated from Justin Northwest High School about 45 minutes from Globe Life Park, pulled his fourth homer of the season down the right field line to break a 1-1 tie. The homer followed a leadoff single by Dixon Machado and a double by Anthony Gose.

Collins said he bought 20-25 tickets for friends and relatives who sat in “the only loud section when the opposing team hits a home run.”

Ausmus credited Collins, 25, with taking advantage of increased playing time following the departure of Yoenis Cespedes at the non-waiver trade deadline. On Sunday against Minnesota, Collins tied a career high with three hits.

“I feel good at the plate,” Collins said. “I’m seeing the ball well. The swing feels good.”

Miguel Cabrera, leading the league with a .336 batting average in an injury-shortened season, became eligible to win the batting title.

SAME PLACE, NEW ROLE

Neftali Feliz was the Rangers’ closer when the franchise won AL pennants in 2010-11. Released by Texas in July, he made his first appearance at Globe Life Park as an opponent and earned his fourth save as a Tiger - his third in six days - allowing a two-run single to Fielder before retiring Adrian Beltre for the game-ending double play. Feliz said there was no special feeling succeeding against his former team. “It’s the same emotion every time you come in to save a game,” he said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: DH Victor Martinez experienced soreness in his left quad running from first to third in the fifth inning and was replaced in the sixth. Ausmus said it’s unlikely that Martinez will play Tuesday night.

UP NEXT

Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (1-1), acquired from Toronto in July in the David Price trade, pitched five perfect innings against the White Sox in his previous start, replaced after 63 pitches. The Tigers are 5-1 in his starts.

Texas LHP Cole Hamels (11-8) threw only 87 pitches in six innings last Thursday in the Rangers’ 8-1 win at Oakland. The Rangers have won each of his last eight starts.

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