The Texas Rangers took a 2-0 lead against the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series as Nelson Cruz hit the first game-ending grand slam in postseason history to secure a 7-3 win in 11 innings.
“The fans got me excited,” Cruz said in a televised interview. “We battled the whole game. The bullpen did a really good job. My teammates never gave up.”
Cruz, who hit a leadoff home run in the seventh inning to tie the game 3-3, sealed the win with no outs in the 11th off Ryan Perry, who came in to start the inning, giving up three singles before Cruz’s homer.
Mike Adams, the sixth Texas pitcher, went one inning for the win at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
The best-of-seven Major League Baseball series now moves to Detroit’s Comerica Park for as many as three games and will return to Texas if necessary for Games 6 and 7 on Oct. 15 and 16.
The winner moves on to the World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers or the St. Louis Cardinals. The second game of the National League Championship Series is tonight in Milwaukee, with the Brewers trying to take a 2-0 series lead.
Ryan Raburn accounted for all of Detroit’s runs with a three-run homer off Texas starter Derek Holland in the third inning. Five Texas relievers held the Tigers scoreless for 8 1/3 innings.
Texas took the lead in the first inning on run-scoring doubles by Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre off Detroit starter Max Scherzer, who allowed three runs on six hits and struck out six in six innings.
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