After never reaching the World Series in their first 38 years, the Texas Rangers are now returning to the World Series for the second consecutive year after defeating the Detroit Tigers last night 15-5 to win the ALCS four games to two. The key to this game was the nine-run offensive outburst in the third inning that put the Rangers ahead for good.
After falling behind early 2-0 behind solo home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta, the Rangers' offense finally busted out for a huge inning. The Rangers sent 14 men to the plate in the third inning with nine of them scoring. The inning consisted of six hits and four walks, and maybe the most remarkable thing, no home runs. Michael Young, who was mired in a postseason slump, had two 2-run doubles in the third. Young also added a solo home run to center field in the seventh inning and finished 3-6 with 5 RBIs.
Every Rangers’ player except Endy Chavez (one at-bat) recorded a hit with four players driving in multiple runs. David Murphy reached base all five times out of the eighth spot in the lineup while Ian Kinsler was 2-5 with 3 RBIs out of the leadoff spot.
Nelson Cruz continued his hot streak with two hits including another home run. Cruz’s seventh inning record-setting home run was his sixth of the ALCS, the most home runs to ever be hit in a postseason series. Cruz was named ALCS MVP courtesy of his six home runs, including a walk-off grand slam, and 13 RBIs.
Texas starter Derek Holland struggled once again, giving up four runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Holland didn’t walk anybody but gave up three home runs which curtailed his night. The Rangers’ bullpen pitched the final 4 1/3 innings, giving up just one run. Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth inning and got Brandon Inge to pop up to Young in shallow right field to clinch the American League pennant for the second year in a row.
Game one of the Fall Classic will begin on Wednesday night in the home park of the National League champion. The St. Louis Cardinals lead the Milwaukee Brewers three games to two with game six at Miller Park tonight.