Rangers 7, Tigers 3(11)
The Detroit Tigers certainly had their chances in Game 2 of the
AL championship series.
Two on and none out in the first inning, middle of the order
coming up. Bases loaded in the second and ninth. A runner on second
base with one out in the 10th. A man on for AL batting champion
Miguel Cabrera in the 11th.
Detroit couldn’t manage a single run in any of those situations,
failures that loomed large once Ryan Perry served up a game-ending
grand slam to Nelson Cruz in the 11th inning, giving the Texas
Rangers a 7-3 victory Monday and sending the Tigers home trailing
0-2 in the best-of-seven ALCS.
”We didn’t quite get it done,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland
said. ”We haven’t been able to come up with any big hits. That’s
really hard. We’ve had some opportunities, but up to this point, we
just haven’t been able to do that.”
After leaving nine runners on base in the opener, the Tigers
stranded 13 this time. The five they wasted in the first two
innings were as painful as the five they left in the last three
”They made every pitch when they needed it,” Cabrera said.
Another stat that’s tough for Detroit to swallow: 1 for 12 with
runners in scoring position in Game 2. The lone exception was Ryan
Raburn’s three-run homer in the third inning.
”It’s just been two close games and could have gone either
way,” said cleanup hitter Victor Martinez, who went 0 for 4 and is
0 for 7 in the series. ”Unfortunately, we end up on the losing
side, but … we’re going home. We’ve been doing it the whole
season: turn the page, come back tomorrow and keep on going.”
Leyland insists his club is fine, especially headed to Detroit.
After all, if the Tigers keep getting this many chances to score,
the lineup is bound to start coming through.
Still, they’re running out of time.
Only three teams have overcome 0-2 deficits in the LCS since it
became a seven-game series in 1985: the Royals and Cardinals, both
in ’85, and the 2004 Red Sox, who famously clawed from an 0-3 hole
to become World Series champions.
”They’ve got to win two more. We have to win four. It’s that
simple,” Leyland said.
Doug Fister, who won the first-round finale at Yankee Stadium,
pitches for Detroit in Game 3. Colby Lewis starts for Texas.
”We ain’t got much to lose right now,” said Raburn, who is 2
for 6 with four walks in the series. ”We’re down 2-0, so we’re
going to come out and play hard. We’ve got a great team. It’s going
to be another battle again. Just come out and play hard and see
Martinez and leadoff hitter Austin Jackson each went 0 for 4 on
Monday. But pretty much everyone had a chance to get the big
After Jackson opened the game with a walk and Ramon Santiago
singled, Delmon Young, Cabrera and Martinez were retired, ruining
that early chance to jump on Texas’ shaky starter, Derek Holland.
The failure hurt right away as the Rangers got a pair of runs off
Max Scherzer in the bottom of the first.
Detroit was poised to get to Holland again in the second inning,
filling the bases with two outs for Santiago. He hit a grounder
that nearly made it into center field, but Texas second baseman Ian
Kinsler stopped the ball and flipped it to shortstop Elvis Andrus
to narrowly get the force out at second base.
Raburn’s homer in the third put the Tigers ahead for the first
time all series, but they couldn’t push another run across against
a series of Texas relievers. The Rangers’ bullpen threw 8 1-3
shutout innings, with Scott Feldman settling things down for the
first 4 1-3 and Mike Adams going the final inning for the win.
Texas relievers have combined for 12 2-3 scoreless innings
during the first two games of the series, allowing five hits and
three walks while striking out 16.
”With these pitching staffs, runs are hard to come by
usually,” said Andy Dirks, a late-inning replacement who went 0
for 2 and let a fly ball tick off the end of his glove in right
field just before Cruz’s winning slam. ”You’ve just got to keep
battling every at-bat. Sometimes you’re going to produce a run here
or there and they’re all big. You’ve just got to keep
Detroit’s best chance against the Rangers’ bullpen came in the
ninth. With two outs, Santiago singled and Don Kelly doubled to the
right-field wall. The Tigers could have gambled and gone for the
go-ahead run, but third-base coach Gene Lamont held up
”The ball came back to him (Cruz, the right fielder),” Leyland
said. ”That’s kind of the luck of the draw.”
Texas went to closer Neftali Feliz and had him intentionally
walk Cabrera, loading the bases for Martinez. He hit a flare into
shallow center field that Andrus juggled, pinning the ball against
his chest to end the threat.
”It’s just one of those breaks,” said Raburn, who was watching
from the on-deck circle. ”When you’re winning, that stuff gets
caught, and when you’re not …”
Detroit closer Jose Valverde made things interesting by loading
the bases with none out in the bottom of the ninth, but got out of
it with a shallow fly ball and a nifty 3-2-3 double play started
and finished by Cabrera, who isn’t always the slickest fielder at
Raburn led off the 10th with a walk and moved to second on a
sacrifice. He never got any farther, though.
In what proved to be Detroit’s final at-bat in the 11th, Kelly
singled and Cabrera sent a ball high and deep toward the Texas
bullpen in right-center. Josh Hamilton kept drifting back and
caught it on the warning track.
”It was an exciting game, you know?” Dirks said. ”It was just
fun – except for the outcome.”
NOTES: Detroit C Alex Avila was 1 for 22 this postseason before
a single in the sixth. He was retired twice more after that. …
Valverde went two innings, marking the first time this year he’s
gone more than one. … Detroit fell to 4-3-1 in extra-inning
postseason games. Yes, a tie. It came in the Tigers’ first
postseason game, the opener of the 1907 World Series, when Ty Cobb
and the Tigers tied the Cubs 3-3 in 12 innings in a game called
because of darkness. … The Tigers hadn’t gone to extra innings in
a postseason game since Game 2 of the 1984 ALCS, when they beat the
Royals 5-3 in 11 innings. This was their 31st postseason game since