MLB Playoffs: Cruz, Rangers Push Tigers to Brink of Elimination

It was more of the same for the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers during game four of the American League Championship Series.  More rain, more delays and, to the chagrin of Tigers fans, more Nelson Cruz.  Cruz administered another extra-inning knockout punch, as the Rangers prevailed in 11 to take a 3-1 series lead.

Following another long rain delay, Detroit and Texas were finally able to get underway last night.  The Tigers tried something new Wednesday, jumping out to an early advantage for the first time in the ALCS.  Young right-hander Rick Porcello was able to hold this lead through five frames before the Rangers offense broke through in the 6th.

Texas used an Ian Kinsler double and a pair of singles off the bats of Elvis Andrus and Michael Young to pull ahead 3-2.  Porcello finished the night after 6.2 innings, surrendering three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and no free passes.

Detroit tied things up in the 7th on Brandon Inge’s homer to left.  Beyond this point both pens were solid, allowing only one hit over a combined six scoreless frames.

Jose Valverde worked a perfect 10th for the Tigers, but ran into trouble while facing the heart of the Rangers lineup the next inning.  Josh Hamilton led off with a double to right, and after Young struck out swinging, Valverde intentionally walked Adrian BeltreMike Napoli delivered a go-ahead single to center before Cruz crushed his fourth home run of the series.

Neftali Feliz worked a perfect 9th, sending Detroit to the brink of elimination.

The ailing Tigers will fight for their playoff lives tonight, sending ace Justin Verlander to mound.  Verlander will look to extend Detroit’s season while Rangers ace C.J. Wilson hopes to send Texas to their second World Series in as many years.

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

Tags: Adrian Beltre Brandon Inge C.J. Wilson Detroit Tigers Elvis Andrus Ian Kinsler Jose Valverde Josh Hamilton Justin Verlander Michael Young Mike Napoli Neftali Feliz Nelson Cruz Rick Porcello Texas Rangers

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