Nelson Cruz hit a postseason record sixth home run and Michael Young drove in five as the Texas Rangers defeated the Detroit Tigers 15-5 to win their second consecutive American League pennant and a spot in the World Series.
The Rangers took the best-of-seven AL Championship Series four games to two. They will meet the winner of the National League Championship Series which goes to Game 6 tonight with the St. Louis Cardinals up three games to two over the Milwaukee Brewers.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this group of men who came together this spring with a mission to win a world championship,” said Nolan Ryan, president of the Rangers organization.
Cruz, named the ALCS Most Valuable Player, blasted a two- run homer in the seventh last night to give the Rangers a 15-4 advantage at his home park in Arlington, Texas. He has driven in 13 runs for another Major League Baseball postseason record.
“He’s going to do a lot of damage,” Elvis Andrus said of his teammate Cruz in a televised interview. “He did it last year.”
‘Hungry’ for Win
“We were hungry to get back,” Andrus said. “Now we have another opportunity to get it all.”
The Tigers held a 2-0 lead after two innings on the first of two home runs by Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta’s solo homer.
The Rangers exploded in the third for nine runs as Michael Young drove in four on two doubles, Adrian Beltre had a one-run single, and David Murphy and Ian Kinsler each had two-run singles. The Tigers needed four pitchers to get out of the inning.
Detroit’s Austin Jackson hit a two-run homer in the fifth as the Tigers closed the gap to 9-4.
Kinsler scored on Josh Hamilton’s sacrifice fly in the fifth for the Rangers, Beltre went home on Craig Gentry’s single and Kinsler had a one-run single in the sixth. Young hit a home run ahead of Cruz’s two-run homer in the seventh.
“We’re happy to be going to the World Series but we have a lot of work to do,” Young said. “We’re happy but not satisfied.”
The Rangers set franchise postseason records with 15 runs and 17 hits.
“Everyone in the game know it’s not easy to get back to this place,” manager Ron Washington said. “They had attitude, they were committed. They believed in one another.”
Alexi Ogando got his second postseason win, allowing one hit and striking out three in two innings. Detroit starter Max Scherzer gave up six runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings.
The World Series begins Oct. 19.
“They’re the real deal,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said about the Rangers. “They’re talented and they go deep. Texas is the team that should be representing the American League.”
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