Rangers slug their way back to World SeriesOct 16, 2011 - 6:33 AM
Michael Young bookended the pivotal third -- the most productive inning in Texas' limited playoff history -- with a pair of two-run doubles, then added a solo homer in the seventh for good measure.
Nelson Cruz fittingly capped the rout with a two-run shot, giving him the all- time record for most home runs (six) and RBI (13) in a postseason series.
"When the team needed me I delivered. It was an amazing run. ... It's special, it's everything I can ask for," said Cruz after receiving the ALCS MVP Award.
Texas became just the fifth franchise to win consecutive AL pennants since the LCS round was introduced in 1969.
"It's amazing. I couldn't be prouder of this group of men," Rangers president Nolan Ryan said.
The Rangers will await the winner of the National League Championship Series, which sits at 3-2 in favor of the St. Louis Cardinals. Milwaukee hosts Game 6 on Sunday, and Game 1 of the World Series is slated for Wednesday.
Two days after staving off elimination with a 7-5 win in Game 5, Detroit jumped out to an early lead when Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta each belted solo homers off Derek Holland in the first and second inning, respectively.
The Rangers stranded a runner on second in each of their first two at-bats, and Ian Kinsler was robbed of a base hit by a diving Brandon Inge leading off the third.
The highlight-reel play was the last piece of good news for Detroit, as Max Scherzer allowed the next six hitters to reach base before exiting early.
"He was out of whack for the most part all the way. His control was not good from the get go, really. And he had a tough time. And we just couldn't stop the bleeding," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of his starter.
Elvis Andrus started the rally with a walk, Josh Hamilton followed with a base hit, and Young scored them both with a double down the left-field line.
Adrian Beltre gave the hosts the lead by dribbling a single up the middle, and the next two hitters earned walks, with Cruz narrowly checking his swing on a 2-2 pitch before taking ball four inside to load the bases.
Scherzer (1-1) was pulled and Daniel Schlereth was brought in to face David Murphy, who looped a single to center to bring in two more.
Leyland went to the bullpen again and brought in Rick Porcello, and the Game 4 starter surrendered two-run hits to Kinsler and Young, the latter slicing a live drive that barely stayed fair down the right-field line.
Despite being staked with a huge lead, Holland was unable to get through the required five innings to earn the win, getting pulled after surrendering Austin Jackson's two-out, two-run homer in the fifth.
Scott Feldman recorded the final out of the inning, while Alexi Ogando (2-0) tossed two scoreless innings to get credit for the win.
Unsatisfied with a 9-4 lead, the Rangers added on in the fifth via Hamilton's sacrifice fly, then pushed across two more against Brad Penny in the sixth on two-out RBI singles by Craig Gentry and Kinsler.
Young, the franchise leader in numerous offensive categories, sent the home fans into a frenzy with a solo blast to straightaway center in the seventh, and Cruz solidified his place in the record books later in the frame by sending one over the wall in left-center.
Cabrera crushed a Mike Adams offering in the eighth for his fourth home run of the postseason, but the solo homer did little to quell Texas' momentum.
Neftali Feliz hurled a 1-2-3 ninth, with Inge ending the game with a half- swing flare that Young pulled down at first base, setting off the red, white and blue confetti at Rangers Ballpark.
The Rangers have played 40 consecutive games, including the regular season, without losing two straight...The last repeat AL champ were the Yankees, who won four in a row from 1998-2001...Cabrera has hit safely in all 13 of his LCS games, trying Greg Luzinksi for longest LCS hitting streak to start a career...The Tigers are 9-9 in club history when facing postseason elimination...Scherzer was charged with six runs on five hits and four walks in 2 1/3 innings...Former President George W. Bush was seated in the front row alongside Ryan.
- DETROIT: 5
Oct 15 11:41 PM
- Miguel Cabrera two-out, solo Home Run 2 (4) to left center. Victor Martinez due up.
Tigers 5, Rangers 15 Top 8, 2 OutsOct 15 11:21 PM
- Nelson Cruz two-out, two-run Home Run (6) to left scored Mike Napoli. David Murphy due up.
Tigers 4, Rangers 15 Bot 7, 2 OutsOct 15 11:05 PM
- Adrian Beltre struck out swinging. None on with two outs and Mike Napoli due up.
Tigers 4, Rangers 13 Bot 7, 2 OutsOct 15 11:03 PM
- Ian Kinsler singled to left scoring David Murphy with two out. On the play, Craig Gentry advances to second. Runners on first and second and Elvis Andrus due up.
Tigers 4, Rangers 12 Bot 6, 2 OutsOct 15 10:43 PM
- Josh Hamilton sacrifice fly to right scored Ian Kinsler with one out. Runner on first and Michael Young due up.
Tigers 4, Rangers 10 Bot 5, 1 OutOct 15 10:18 PM
- Austin Jackson two-out, two-run Home Run (1) to right scored Brandon Inge. Ryan Raburn due up.
Tigers 4, Rangers 9 Top 5, 2 OutsOct 15 10:06 PM
- Ryan Perry enters the game for the Tigers with runners on second and third and two out.
Tigers 2, Rangers 9 Bot 3, 2 OutsOct 15 9:34 PM
- Ian Kinsler singled to left scoring Nelson Cruz and David Murphy with one out On the play, Craig Gentry advances to third on Delmon Young's fielding error error. Ian Kinsler advances to second. Runners on second and third and Elvis Andrus due up.
Tigers 2, Rangers 7 Bot 3, 1 OutOct 15 9:31 PM
- David Murphy singled to center scoring Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli with one out. On the play, Nelson Cruz advances to second. Runners on first and second and Endy Chavez due up.
Tigers 2, Rangers 5 Bot 3, 1 OutOct 15 9:22 PM
- Adrian Beltre singled to center scoring Michael Young with one out. Runner on first and Mike Napoli due up.
Tigers 2, Rangers 3 Bot 3, 1 OutOct 15 9:09 PM
- Michael Young doubled to left scoring Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton with one out. Runner on second and Adrian Beltre due up.
Tigers 2, Rangers 2 Bot 3, 1 OutOct 15 9:06 PM
- Alex Avila struck out swinging, catcher to first. None on with two outs and Brandon Inge due up.
Tigers 2, Rangers 0 Top 2, 2 OutsOct 15 8:32 PM
- Miguel Cabrera two-out, solo Home Run (3) to right. Victor Martinez due up.
Tigers 1, Rangers 0 Top 1, 2 OutsOct 15 8:14 PM
- DETROIT: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Oct 15 8:09 PM
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