for this game

Tigers power their way back in series

Oct 12, 2011 - 4:08 AM Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Doug Fister once again stepped up when Detroit needed a win, pitching effectively into the eighth inning as the Tigers slugged themselves back into the American League Championship Series with a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 3.

The Tigers lost the first two meetings of the series in Arlington, dropping Tuesday's postponed Game 2 in crushing fashion when Nelson Cruz hit the first walkoff grand slam in postseason history in the 11th inning.

Fister (2-1), the winning pitcher in the Division Series clincher at Yankee Stadium, made sure the Rangers didn't take a commanding 3-0 lead.

The trade deadline acquisition settled down after a rough first inning and wound up pitching 7 1/3 frames, scattering two runs on seven hits without walking a batter.

"I thought he put on a pitching clinic," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of his starter.

Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta all homered and Austin Jackson went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI for the AL Central champs, who can even the series on Wednesday when Rick Porcello faces Matt Harrison.

Colby Lewis (1-1) was charged with four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings to suffer his first postseason loss, Texas' first setback since losing to the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS.

The Rangers, who came in sporting a porous 7-17 record at Comerica Park under Ron Washington, momentarily silenced the raucous crowd with three straight hits out of the gate.

Ian Kinsler led off with a single to left and sprinted to third when Elvis Andrus fought off an inside pitch and chopped one through the right side. Josh Hamilton followed by sending a blooper over Peralta's glove for a run-scoring single.

Fister withstood the shaky start and limited the damage to one run by getting Michael Young to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play and striking out Adrian Beltre, who fouled a ball off his left knee during that at-bat and did the same in the fourth. He was visibly hobbled but stayed in the game

Martinez hurt himself in the bottom half of the fourth, but did so while tying the game. The switch-hitting designated hitter, batting from the left side, sent a 2-1 offering over the right-field wall, though he winced while finishing his swing. After slowly trotting around the bases, he threw his helmet in frustration while walking to the clubhouse for further examination.

The injury, confirmed by Leyland to be an intercostal muscle strain, was apparently manageable, as Martinez made a plate appearance immediately after Cabrera's go-ahead hit the next inning.

"I think [Martinez will] battle back from it. He hasn't been swinging the bat as well as he would like. But he's a veteran leader on this team, and we need him to win these ballgames," Jackson said.

The two-out rally in the fifth commenced with back-to-back hits by Jackson and Ramon Santiago. Cabrera, the AL batting champion, was down 0-2 in the count before slapping an RBI double down the right-field line.

"The ball was supposed to be out of the zone. [Lewis] didn't put it there. That was what was supposed to happen," Washington said.

Detroit left the bases loaded, but got two runs in its next turn to extend the lead. Peralta started the frame by sending the first-pitch he saw over the left-field fence. Andy Dirks, starting in place of the injured Delmon Young, ended Lewis' outing with a two-out single, then stole second with Koji Uehara on the mound.

Uehara, in his second appearance of the postseason, yielded an RBI single to Jackson, then surrendered Cabrera's no-doubter leading off the seventh. The slugger's second home run of the postseason was a moonshot that landed a dozen rows deep into the bleachers down the left-field line.

Yorvit Torrealba started the eighth with a double to left field, and Fister was pulled after a groundout moved the runner to third.

Joaquin Benoit entered and yielded a run-scoring groundout by Ian Kinsler, then caught Andrus looking at strike three to end the inning.

Jose Valverde, perfect on the season in save chances, gave up a leadoff two- bagger to Hamilton in the ninth.

But the closer retired the next three hitters as Texas finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Young struck out on three pitches, Cabrera made a diving stop to his left to steal a hit away from Beltre and Mike Napoli flew out down the right-field line to end the game.

Game Notes

Delmon Young, a late addition to the ALCS roster after Magglio Ordonez went down with a broken ankle, was scratched due to a left oblique injury...Cabrera has hit safely in each of his 10 career LCS games...Valverde has three saves this postseason...Cruz went 0-for-3 to end his eight-game LCS hitting streak...Lewis was 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five postseason starts...Torrealba had three of Texas' eight hits...The run allowed by Uehara snapped a 12 2/3 scoreless innings streak over the first two games of the series for the Rangers bullpen.