Tigers 7, Rangers 5

BY foxsports • October 14, 2011

Cases of celebratory beverages were loaded onto a truck Thursday night outside the Texas Rangers' clubhouse.

The bottles will have to stay on ice for a while.

C.J. Wilson had a lot to do with that.

The Texas lefty was tagged for six runs in another poor postseason start and the Detroit Tigers won 7-5, trimming the Rangers' edge in the AL championship series to 3-2.

The defending AL champion Rangers missed out on their first opportunity to advance to the World Series for the second time in franchise history.

They've now got two chances to win one game back on home turf and Nelson Cruz - the first player to hit five homers in a championship series in either league - sounded confident about his team's chances.

''We were in this situation last year, and we went home and clinched,'' Cruz said. ''We know we're a better team at home, and we're confident in the guys that we're going to have pitching.''

Derek Holland will start for Texas against Max Scherzer in Game 6 on Saturday night.

Wilson was the Rangers' ace during the regular season, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA, but he has lost his touch during the playoffs.

Washington suggested Wilson was simply unfortunate on a pivotal play he thought was going to be a double play.

Miguel Cabrera hit a grounder that bounced high off third base and down the line, putting Detroit ahead 3-2 in the sixth inning.

''They caught a break,'' Washington said. ''That's what I thought.''

The Tigers made some of their own breaks, too.

Delmon Young hit two homers of Detroit's three homers off Wilson - slumping Alex Avila had the other - and Ryan Raburn cleared the fence off reliever Koji Uehara in the seventh inning.

Wilson said the second homer Young hit, a 2-run shot in the sixth inning, was a cutter that was up, in and out of the strike zone.

''That's a chase pitch, but he stepped in the bucket and somehow hit it out,'' Wilson said. ''I learned a lesson with that pitch - a very painful one.

That capped a wild inning.

The Tigers opened the sixth with a single, double, triple and homer - in order - to take a 6-2 lead. It was the first time four consecutive batters on one team hit for a ''natural'' cycle in a postseason game, according to STATS LLC.

Wilson has made the Rangers' path back to the World Series more difficult and the 30-year-old lefty probably cost himself money as a potential free agent this offseason, too.

He might've been in the Cy Young conversation this year if Justin Verlander wasn't so dominant for Detroit, but memories of his success in the regular season are fading away fast because of his shaky performances in the playoffs.

Washington gave Wilson the ball in Game 1 of the team's AL division series against Tampa Bay and he got roughed up.

Wilson gave up eight runs - six earned - on seven hits over five innings in the 9-0 loss to the Rays. He fared better the next time he had a shot in Game 1 against Detroit, giving up two runs over 4 2-3 innings to help the Rangers win 3-2. His outing in Detroit was somewhere in between his previous two starts in the postseason.

''I don't think he lost any steam,'' Washington said.

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