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Rangers Beat Tigers 7-3 in Extras, Lead Series 3-1

Harry How, Getty Images

After a two hour and 13 minute rain delay, the Rangers came out on top after 11 innings in game four of the ALCS.

The power in Texas’ lineup ended up being too much for the Tigers to handle. Nelson Cruz having a huge impact both at the plate and in the field, going 1-4 with three RBI and providing an outfield assist that helped send this game into extras. Cruz is only hitting .207 in this post season, but his power is more than making up for the average with five home runs and 10 RBI.

Miguel Cabrera provided the first runs of the game hitting a two RBI double off Matt Harrison in the third inning.  Those would also be the only runs charged to Harrison who was relieved by Alexi Ogando after letting up three hits and two runs over five innings. Those runs gave the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.

The Rangers’ runs came in the sixth inning.  Rangers’ left fielder, Daniel Murphy, led off the inning with a single.  He was batted in by an Ian Kinsler double.  Eventually, Kinsler stole third and was brought home by Elvis Andrus.  That tied the game at 2-2 before pitcher Rick Porcello hit Andrus on a pickoff attempt, advancing him to second base.  Michael Young came up to bat with two outs and provided the Rangers’ third run with a single to center field, Andrus scoring on the play. However, that lead would be short lived. After retiring his first two batters in the seventh, Ogando let up a game-tying home run to third baseman Brandon Inge.

The Tigers left Porcello in for 6.2 innings before taking him out for Al Alburquerque. Porcello let up eight hits and three runs, two of which were earned, and recorded six strikeouts. Alburquerque finished the seventh for Porcello, Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect eighth to keep the game tied 3-3 going into the eighth.

Harry How, Getty Images

Matt Adams relieved Ogando in the eighth. After getting right fielder Ryan Raburn to groundout, the Rangers decided to intentionally walk Cabrera to face a less than healthy Victor Martinez.  Martinez was able to take advantage, hitting a single to right field, moving Cabrera to third with only one out.  Delmon Young stepped up to the plate hoping to bring at least Cabrera home to take the lead.  He drilled a 1-2 pitch out to right field, but it was caught by Nelson Cruz. Cabrera attempted to tag up for the score, but Cruz was able to throw him out on a one-hopper as Cabrera and catcher Mike Napoli collided for the inning ending double play.

No more runs crossed the plate until the top of the 11th.  Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless 10th and stayed on the mound for the 11th.  Leading off the inning was Josh Hamilton who was able to take the first pitch he saw to deep right for a double. After striking out Young for the first out, the Tigers elected to intentionally walk Adrien Beltre. That brought up the catcher, Mike Napoli who was able to come through with a single to center field, scoring Hamilton from second and taking a 4-3 lead.  On the very next pitch, Cruz homered to left driving in another three runs as the Rangers took a commanding 7-3 lead. Cruz became the first player in MLB history to hit two home runs in extra innings in any individual series.

Harry How, Getty Images

Neftali Feliz pitched a perfect 11th to hold on for the win, and a commanding 3-1 series lead. Justin Verlander will be facing CJ Wilson in Detroit for game five which is scheduled for Thursday October 13th, first pitch at 4:19pm. You can hear that along with the rest of the MLB playoffs on 104.5 “The Team” ESPN Radio!

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