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Rangers Look To Win Seventh Straight

(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers are closing in on their first American League West title since 1999. Tonight they can get their magic number to single digits when the team concludes its two-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Texas won its sixth straight game in the opener of this set on Tuesday, as Michael Young finished with three hits, three runs batted in and three runs scored to help the Rangers to an 11-4 rout.

Elvis Andrus had two hits and scored twice, David Murphy homered as part of a three-hit, two-RBI attack, and the Rangers pounded out 14 hits to move nine games in front of the Oakland Athletics in the division.

With the A's losing in Kansas City, Texas' magic number for clinching the division stands at 10. The Rangers have now held a lead between seven and 10 games in the AL West for 50 straight days.

Dustin Nippert (4-4) earned the win in relief, as he pitched 4 1/3 scoreless frames while surrendering three hits and one walk with three strikeouts. He came into the game in the fifth for Derek Holland, who lasted just four frames.

"It's fun, we're playing pretty good right now," Nippert said. "Everybody keeps asking about the magic number, but we just go out there and play each game for today."

Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman gave up four runs -- three earned -- in five frames, but the loss went to Robbie Weinhardt (1-2), who gave up three runs -- just one of which was earned -- on four hits while retiring just two batters.

Casper Wells went 4-for-4 with an RBI as the Tigers lost for the third time in four games.

"It doesn't mean much when there's not a win," Wells said of his performance.

Getting the call for the Rangers this evening will be righty Colby Lewis, who won for the first time in eight decisions his last time out. Lewis earned his first win since July 16 Thursday in Toronto, as he held the Blue Jays to a run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings to up his season mark to 10-12 and lower his earned run average to 3.86.

"It's definitely gratifying to get double digits, for sure," said Lewis, who is 2-7 with a 4.75 ERA in 11 starts since the All-Star break. "I just really wanted to bounce back after the two poor outings I had."

It was a loss to the Tigers on July 21 that started Lewis' downward spiral, but he is 1-1 lifetime against them with a 5.02 ERA in three games (two starts).

Detroit, meanwhile, will counter with righty Armando Galarraga, who is 4-5 with a 3.89 ERA. Galarraga did not get a decision on Friday against Baltimore, but he surrendered three runs and four hits in seven innings of his team's 6-3 loss. The Tigers have lost in each of his last four starts.

Galarraga has faced the Rangers four times and is 2-2 with a 3.95 ERA against them.

Texas has won five of its eight matchups with the Tigers this season.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.