The Texas Rangers offense struck in a big way Saturday night, leading to a 15-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers. With the win, Texas has clinched its second American League title in as many years, and is heading back to the Fall Classic.
Though it might be hard to believe, the Tigers held a two run lead early in this game. Detroit put up single runs on solo shots off the bats of Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta in the 1st and 2nd innings.
Tigers’ starter Max Scherzer held the Rangers scoreless over his first two innings of work, but the right-hander couldn’t escape what became a marathon inning in the 3rd. After retiring the first batter of the frame, Scherzer allowed the next six to reach. Scherzer gave up three hit and walks, resulting in three Rangers’ runs.
Making his exit with the bases loaded, Scherzer handed the ball to reliever Daniel Schlereth who only faced a single batter. Schlereth surrendered a two-run single before being replaced by starter Rick Porcello.
Porcello didn’t fare any better. Two hits and walk later, and the Rangers had jumped out to a commanding 9-2 lead.
This lead would have been enough for the Rangers to close out a comfortable win, but no one told Texas that. After the Tigers pulled within five on Austin Jackson’s two-run shot in the 5th, Texas went on to score six more times from the 5th through the 7th. Nelson Cruz, who was later voted American League Championship Series MVP, capped the scoring off with his long ball to center.
Cruz was unbelievable in round two. After only managing a single hit during the ALDS, Cruz went 8-20 with all of his hits being of the extra base variety. Cruz hit two doubles and six home runs while driving in 13 runs against the Tigers.
Michael Young also had a big night for the Rangers, going 3-5 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI’s.
Having punched their World Series tickets, the Rangers can sit back and wait to see who comes out of the NLCS. St. Louis could end things tonight as the series resumes in Milwaukee.