MLB Playoffs: Cruz's Slam Lifts Rangers Past Tigers


The Texas Rangers walked off on a Nelson Cruz grand slam to take game two of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers.  The game carried into extras, with Cruz ending things on one swing in the bottom of the 11th.  With the win, the Rangers now hold a 2-0 advantage in this best of seven series.

While each side had several opportunities to win well before the bottom of the 11th, Monday’s game was all about Nelson Cruz.  The slugger continued playing out of his mind, going 3-4 with a double and two home runs.  Cruz accounted for five of the Rangers seven runs and is now 4-7 with three home runs and six RBI’s over the first two games of the ALCS.

Justin Hamilton and Adrian Beltre got Texas off to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of RBI doubles.  Ryan Raburn erased the deficit and put the Tigers on top in the 3rd with his three run shot to left.

Detroit clung to their one run advantage until the 7th inning, when the Nelson Cruz show began.  The right fielder took Tigers starter Max Scherzer deep, knotting the contest at three.

The teams combined to produce a quiet 8th inning before things got very interesting in the final frame of regulation.  Each club went on to squander opportunities to take the lead.

After recording the first two outs of the inning, reliever Alexi Ogando served up a single to Ramon Santiago.  Manager Ron Washington then called on the lefty, Mike Gonzalez, who promptly surrendered a double to Don Kelly.  Santiago wasn’t able to score on the hit, and, after Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases, Neftali Feliz got Victor Martinez to pop up to short to end the inning.

Texas had an even better chance to end things in the bottom of the frame.  Beltre led off the inning with his second double of the night and eventually moved to third after an intentional walk and hit by pitch.  David Murphy’s fly ball wasn’t deep enough to score Beltre, and Mitch Moreland followed by grounding into a double play, ending the threat.

The contest continued into the 11th, and the Rangers were finally able to break through.  Ryan Perry served up three singles without recording an out, bringing Cruz to the plate.  We all know what happened next; Cruz’s slam ended the game and put Texas up 2-0.

Because of Sunday’s postponement, the clubs get right back at it tonight as the series heads to Detroit.  The Rangers will send Colby Lewis to the mound to face Tigers right-hander Doug Fister.

For more on the Tigers and Rangers, be sure to check out Motor City Bengals and Nolan Writin’.

Tags: Adrian Beltre Alexi Ogando Colby Lewis David Murphy Detroit Tigers Don Kelly Doug Fister Josh Hamilton Max Scherzer Mike Gonzalez Mitch Moreland Neftali Feliz Nelson Cruz Ramon Santiago Ryan Raburn Texas Rangers Victor Martinez