DETROIT — Doug Fister shook off a frustrating first inning and Victor Martinez hurt himself while hitting a tying home run.
The banged-up Detroit Tigers are teetering but still standing, and now they have a chance to even the AL Championship Series.
Fister delivered another strong start in a game Detroit needed and Miguel Cabrera homered and hit a tiebreaking double to lead the Tigers past the Texas Rangers 5-2 Tuesday night in Game 3.
“In and out, moving the ball around, moving the ball both sides of the plate,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “I thought it was a pitching clinic.”
Detroit dropped the first two games in Texas before turning to Fister, who won the decisive fifth game of the division series at Yankee Stadium last week. He was sharp again, allowing two runs and seven hits with no walks in 7 1/3 innings.
Martinez homered in the fourth to tie the score at 1, then stayed in the game after an injury to his ribcage.
“You know what? This is us,” Leyland said. “We are what we are. We’ve been doing this for the whole year, and we’re going to either win this thing or go down with what we got.”
Jose Valverde, after tossing a season-high two innings the day before, worked around a leadoff double in the ninth for his third playoff save. He got some help from Cabrera, who made a diving play at first base.
Game 4 is Wednesday afternoon. Matt Harrison starts for Texas against Rick Porcello — both went 14-9 this season.
“It’s going to be a long series,” Cabrera said. “Nobody (said) it’s going to be easy. You’ve got to be patient.”
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre fouled a ball off his left knee in the fourth and hobbled the rest of the night. X-rays were negative and he has a bruise.
Texas manager Ron Washington said the team would know more Wednesday.