Nelson Cruz hit a home run off Max Scherzer to lead off the seventh inning, tying Game 2 of the ALCS between the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers at 3-3.
The Tigers weren’t able to break the tie against the Rangers’ Alexi Ogando, a pitcher who owned them during the regular season (3-0 record, 1.29 ERA in three starts). But they had a chance to take the lead against lefty Mike Gonzalez in the ninth.
Rangers manager Ron Washington brought in Gonzalez to face Detroit’s Don Kelly after Ramon Santiago reached base on a bloop single. Kelly subsequently doubled down the right-field line. Then, in a decision that might end up being heavily scrutinized, third base coach Gene Lamont held Santiago up rather than sending him to possibly score.
With a base open, the Rangers had Neftali Feliz intentionally walk Miguel Cabrera to load the bases. Victor Martinez followed up by popping up to shallow center, ending the . (Replays showed, however, that Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus almost dropped the ball.)
In the bottom of the inning, the Rangers squandered an excellent chance for a walkoff win and 2-0 series lead. Adrian Beltre narrowly missed a home run on deep drive to left-center field, settling for a double after the ball hit the wall. Tigers closer Jose Valverde then put the next two hitters on base, intentionally walking Mike Napoli and hitting Nelson Cruz with a pitch.
However, despite having the bases loaded with no outs, the Rangers could not capitalize. David Murphy flied out to left field for the first out of the inning. Then Mitch Moreland grounded to first base, allowing Cabrera to turn a 3-2-3 double play and pull off an impressive escape from what looked like a sure loss.
The Tigers and Rangers head to extra innings in Arlington. Those hoping to switch over to the Lions’ Monday Night Football game versus the Bears have to endure some bonus baseball first.