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Rangers clobber Tigers to repeat as AL champs

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- After waiting until their 50th season to reach their World Series, the Texas Rangers are going right back.

Nelson Cruz had one more big blast, Michael Young caught the final out long after hitting a pair of doubles in one of the highest-scoring postseason innings ever and the Rangers became the American League's first repeat champion in a decade.

The team that lost Cliff Lee in free agency and held onto Young after his offseason trade request finished off the Detroit Tigers with a 15-5 romp Saturday night to win the AL Championship Series in six games,

"This a great trophy, we're real proud of it," Young said. "But we're looking forward to the one with all the flags on it. ... Happy, but not satisfied."

Cruz was selected ALCS MVP after his postseason-record sixth home run of the series, and he also had a record 13 RBI. Young hit a pair of two-run doubles in a nine-run third inning that sent the Rangers on their way to becoming the AL's first consecutive pennant winner since the New York Yankees won four in a row from 1998-01.

ALCS: Tigers at Rangers
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The Rangers didn't need Cliff Lee to get back to the World Series.They did need Michael Young. Read More >>
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"We wanted to get to the World Series. But the bottom line is getting to the World Series and winning it. We feel pretty confident about ourselves," manager Ron Washington said. "More than anything else, the commitment they made in November after San Francisco sent us home, they held true to it."

Texas will open the World Series on Wednesday night at St. Louis or Milwaukee, seeking the first title in the history of a franchise that started play in 1961. The World Series returns deep in the heart of Texas with Game 3 next Saturday night.

Young, who also homered and had five RBI in the finale, caught Brandon Inge's game-ending popout in short right field and pumped a right hand into the air signaling "No. 1" while fireworks and confetti filled the sky, then ran toward the middle of the field to celebrate with his teammates.

Cruz threw both hands in the air and briefly knelt to a knee in the outfield before running to the infield for the ginger ale-spraying celebration, and a banner was unfurled high over center field declaring the Rangers 2011 AL champions. The postgame celebration included Cruz getting the AL MVP trophy.

"It was fun to watch," last year's AL MVP Josh Hamilton said of Cruz. "It's one thing to be in the stands. But when you're down here on the field with him, you can see the intensity, see the focus. To watch him do that was incredible."

With former President George W. Bush seated in the front row alongside Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, part of the ownership group that took over the team last year, Washington was at the edge of the dugout wildly waving his arms and shouting encouragement as the big inning unfolded.

All Tigers manager Jim Leyland could do was take off his cap and scratch his head as the Rangers kept reaching base off starter Max Scherzer and three relievers.

"He was out of whack for the most part all the way. His control was not good from the get go, really. And he had a tough time. And we just couldn't stop the bleeding," Leyland said. "As the game went on, obviously, it really wasn't fair."

A franchise that began as the expansion Washington Senators and moved to Texas in 1972 had failed to reach the World Series before losing to the Giants in five games last year. The Rangers had never even won a postseason series before last season.

"As soon as the season began, we were hungry, we were hungry to get back," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said.

Texas overcame a 2-0 deficit by sending 14 batters to the plate against Scherzer (0-1) and three relievers in the highest-scoring postseason inning since 2002.

Alexi Ogando (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings for his second win in the series.

While Young became only the fourth player in postseason history with two extra-base hits in the same inning -- first a tying double into the left-field corner and then one down the right field line for a 9-2 lead -- every batter in the Texas lineup reached base at least once in the third. By the time all the fireworks was over, the Rangers scored the most runs ever in a postseason game against the Tigers and the most in any postseason contest since the Yankees routed Boston 19-8 in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS.

Also among the sellout crowd of 51,508 was Dirk Nowitzki, MVP of the NBA Finals won by the Dallas Mavericks in June.

Now the Rangers get another chance to bring another championship to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In his 11th season in Texas, Young had played in 1,508 regular-season games before finally getting into the playoffs last year. He added a huge exclamation point to his already big night when he led off the seventh with a 416-foot homer to straightaway center.

His five RBIs matched the Rangers postseason record, set by Cruz in Game 2.

Last winter, Young had requested a trade after the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre and acquired Mike Napoli, moves that led to Young becoming primarily a designated hitter and first baseman, a position he had never played. He had already been a starting second baseman and an All-Star at shortstop and third base.

Young's two doubles came in the highest-scoring inning in a postseason game since the Angels matched a playoff record with 10 runs in the seventh inning of Game 5 during the 2002 ALCS against Minnesota.

Texas' big inning started when Andrus drew a one-out walk, and Josh Hamilton blooped an opposite-field single to left. After Young tied it, Beltre hit a go-ahead single under the leg of Scherzer, who was gone after consecutive walks to Napoli and Cruz.

Cruz fought back from an 0-2 count for his walk. On a checked swing on a 2-2 pitch, Scherzer and Leyland both reacted in disbelief when first base umpire Tim Welke signaled no swing. When the next pitch was ball four, Cruz flipped his bat away and quickly clapped his hands.

David Murphy hit a two-run single off Daniel Schlereth, facing his only batter in his only appearance of the series. Game 4 starter Rick Porcello took over and pinch-hitter Craig Gentry reached on a fielder's choice as Murphy beat the throw to second. Ian Kinsler's two-run single made it 7-2, and Young's second double boosted the margin to 9-2.

When Ryan Perry finally induced Beltre to hit an inning-ending flyout, fans roared in anticipation of a World Series berth that wouldn't be official for five more innings. Most wildly waved white rally towels, and another behind the Rangers dugout swayed a Texas state flag back-and-forth high in the air.

Detroit had already avoided elimination twice this postseason, winning Game 5 of the AL Division Series at Yankee Stadium and then extending the ALCS with a 7-5 win at home Thursday.

Derek Holland allowed solo homers to Miguel Cabrera in the first and Jhonny Peralta in the second as Detroit, seeking its first Series title since 1984, tried to force a Game 7.

"I don't think I've ever been prouder of a team than I am of this team," Leyland said. "They gave everything they had."

Notes

  • Holland, who didn't make it out of the third inning in Game 2, gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. He left after Austin Jackson's two-run homer in the fifth.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Cabrera
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 2
Texas

M. Young
AB 6
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 5
 

Related Video

Detroit Tigers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Austin Jackson, CF4122011 .195
Ryan Raburn, RF4000002 .286
Miguel Cabrera, 1B4222020 .314
Victor Martinez, DH4030000 .250
Delmon Young, LF4000033 .235
Jhonny Peralta, SS4111012 .220
Alex Avila, C4000010 .073
Brandon Inge, 3B4110000 .318
Ramon Santiago, 2B3010000 .289
Totals35510508  
Batting
HR - Austin Jackson (1, Holland), Miguel Cabrera 2 (4, Holland, Adams), Jhonny Peralta (2, Holland)
RBI - Austin Jackson 2 (4), Miguel Cabrera 2 (10), Jhonny Peralta (3)
2-OUT RBI - Austin Jackson 2 (3), Miguel Cabrera 2 (7)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
E - Ryan Raburn (1, Dropped fly), Delmon Young (1, Misplayed grounder)
Detroit Tigers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Max Scherzer (L,1-1) 2.1566410 5.74
Daniel Schlereth0111000 16.20
Rick Porcello 0.1222100 4.80
Ryan Perry 2.1210000 5.68
Brad Penny 1.2755212 27.00
Al Alburquerque 1.1000120 13.50
IBB - Hamilton by Rick Porcello, Murphy by Brad Penny
WP - Brad Penny (1), Al Alburquerque (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Max Scherzer 62-30, Daniel Schlereth 4-2, Rick Porcello 14-6, Ryan Perry 35-22, Brad Penny 46-21, Al Alburquerque 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Max Scherzer 3-3, Rick Porcello 2-0, Ryan Perry 2-5, Brad Penny 4-0, Al Alburquerque 2-0
Batters Faced - Max Scherzer 16, Daniel Schlereth 1, Rick Porcello 5, Ryan Perry 9, Brad Penny 14, Al Alburquerque 5
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B5223100 .275
Elvis Andrus, SS5220107 .205
Josh Hamilton, CF-LF4111101 .293
Michael Young, 1B6235011 .209
Adrian Beltre, 3B6221032 .238
Mike Napoli, C4210101 .316
Nelson Cruz, RF4222101 .243
David Murphy, DH2222300 .391
Endy Chavez, LF1000002 .000
   a- Craig Gentry, PH-CF4021001 .400
Totals4115171584  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Chavez in the 3rd
Batting
2B - Michael Young 2 (3, Scherzer, Porcello), Adrian Beltre (3, Penny), Nelson Cruz (2, Scherzer)
HR - Michael Young (1, Penny), Nelson Cruz (6, Penny)
SF - Josh Hamilton (2)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 3 (9), Josh Hamilton (7), Michael Young 5 (7), Adrian Beltre (6), Nelson Cruz 2 (13), David Murphy 2 (3), Craig Gentry (1)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler (2), Michael Young 2 (4), Nelson Cruz 2 (2), Craig Gentry (1)
SB - Elvis Andrus (1, 2nd base off Scherzer/Avila), David Murphy (1, 2nd base off Perry/Avila)
CS - Elvis Andrus (2, 2nd base by Perry/Avila)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Young, Andrus-Kinsler-Young
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Derek Holland 4.2744053 5.27
Scott Feldman 0.1000000 0.00
Alexi Ogando (W,2-0) 2100030 0.87
Mike Adams 1211001 2.84
Neftali Feliz 1000000 1.17
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 69-47, Scott Feldman 3-3, Alexi Ogando 26-19, Mike Adams 16-11, Neftali Feliz 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 5-2, Alexi Ogando 1-2, Mike Adams 2-1
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 19, Scott Feldman 1, Alexi Ogando 7, Mike Adams 5, Neftali Feliz 3
Game Information
Attendance - 51508
Game Time - 3:32
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Tom Hallion, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Jim Wolf