As long as Juan Gonzalez can swing a bat, Texas has a chance in the AL West.
"I like this time of year," said Gonzalez. "I like the pressure. It reminds me a lot of 1996 when we won the division. Every game is very important and I know my job."
Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single as the Rangers stayed within three games of first-place Anaheim in the AL West. The Angels spilt a day-night doubleheader in New York on Wednesday.
Gonzalez, who was the Rangers' designated hitter because of a sore leg, had a two-run double in the first and a run-scoring double in the second. His RBI single in the sixth off A.J. Sager gave the Rangers a 7-5 lead.
"We were disappointed the (New York) Yankees couldn't help us against Anaheim," Gonzalez said. "We didn't think the Angels would win three games. It means we have to play perfect."
Estaban Loaiza (2-3) picked up his second win in five decisions despite allowing five earned runs and eight hits in five innings.
"Estaban was cruising along and his sinker quit sinking," said manager Johnny Oates. "But Juan came through and we did what we had to do. It seems like every game now goes down to the last out."
Tigers starter Brce Florie (6-8) lasted only 1 2-3 innings, allowing six runs and six hits. John Wetteland got three outs for his 36th save.
"We got behind early but fought back," said Detroit manager Buddy Bell. "It's hard to hold Gonzalez down when he gets hot."
Texas scored four runs in the first on an RBI single by Rusty Greer, a two-run double by Gonzalez and Will Clark's run-scoring single.
Gonzalez's double in the second inning scored Greer, who had doubled. Tom Goodwin had opened the inning with his second homer of the season.
Mark McLemore tripled home a run in the eighth to put the Rangers ahead 8-6.
Frank Catalanotto's solo homer in the first gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers scored four runs on a season-high six hits in the fifth inning.
Detroit cut Texas' lead to 7-6 in the seventh on a fielder's choice, but Xavier Hernandez got out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam when Juan Encarnacion lined out to shortstop Royce Clayton.
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