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Tigers Slug to Game 5 Victory in ALCS

Photo by Harry How, Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers finally had their bats come alive against C.J. Wilson and the Texas Rangers as they defeated them 7-5 to win game 5 and force game 6 in the ALCS in Texas on Saturday.

Before game 5, many criticized Jim Leyland’s move to state his pitching plans in the pregame press conference before a pitch was even delivered in the game. Leyland stated that both Joakin Benoit and Jose Valverde would both be unavailable and that he would prefer the game to go from his starter and ace Justin Verlander right to the lefty Phil Coke to close the game. Well that’s exactly what happened!

Verlander didn’t quite have his great command and stuff today but managed to tough out 7 1/3 innings giving up 8 hits, 4 runs, walking 3 and striking out 8. Phil Coke, the former Yankee reliever, came in to finish out the game going the rest of the 1 inning and 2/3rds giving up 2 hits, 1 run, walking 1 and striking out 1. What many don’t realize is that Jim Leyland was playing a mind game with the Texas Rangers. He did a great job of planting a seed in their heads that all they would see was Verlander and Coke. Although that decision by Leyland to speak out could have imploded big time and almost did in a couple places in the game.

The Tigers were able to get a crucial double play ball in the top of the 6th inning with the bases loaded and one out. That play gave the Tigers the momentum heading into the bottom of the inning where they put up 4 runs against C.J. Wilson. Wilson went 6 innings giving up 8 hits, 6 runs, walking 2 and striking out 5.

Detroit got power from Delmon Young, who continued his dominance since being traded to Detroit before the trade deadline. Young smacked two home runs in the game, a solo shot in the 4th inning and a 2 run blast in the 6th inning off of Wilson. Ryan Raburn, who is filling in for the injured Magglio Ordonez, went 2-4 with an RBI in the game.

The Tigers and Rangers will next face-off in game 6 on Saturday night starting at 8:05PM. It’ll be Max Scherzer for the Tigers against Derek Holland for the Rangers, who hold the 3-2 series lead.

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