Big League Stew

Texas Two-Step! Rangers earn return to Series with 15-5 win

Big League Stew

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Score and situation: After a 15-5 romp over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night, it's looking like déjà vu all over again for the Texas Rangers. Not only is the team heading back to the World Series for a second straight season, they earned the trip in very similar fashion, notching a coasting win in Game 6 of the ALCS. (The 2010 Rangers beat the Yankees 6-1 to send the franchise to its first Fall Classic trip.) The Rangers are the first AL team since the turn-of-the-century Yankees to win back-to-back pennants.

Leading lads: Rangers fans were waiting all series for the offense to show its true power, and they weren't disappointed after a 15-run outburst that was sparked by a nine-run third inning. Michael Young led the charge with a 3-for-6 performance that featured a home run, two doubles and five RBI. Ian Kinsler went 2-for-5 with three RBI at the top of the lineup while Nelson Cruz homered yet again — his sixth blast of the series.

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Head hangers: Tigers starter Max Scherzer wilted under the responsibility of trying to extend Detroit's season and was tagged for six runs in that big third inning. Brad Penny killed any chance of a Tigers comeback, giving up five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings of work.

Key play: Michael Young's double down the left-field line in the third inning scored Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton for Texas' first runs of the game, turning on the team's offensive fire hose in the process.

Interesting stat: It's not every year that a World Series loser gets an instant shot at redemption. The 1989 Oakland Athletics were the last team to win a Fall Classic the season after losing one. Before that, you'd have to go back to the 1977 New York Yankees to find a similar redemption story. With four more wins in the Fall Classic next week, the Texas Rangers can join them both.

[Photos: Enjoy the best images from Game 6]

What they'll be talking about: No matter who wins the NLCS, Texas should enter the World Series as favorites. Can they capture the ultimate prize after falling short against the San Francisco Giants last fall? As for the Tigers, they'll lick their wounds after injuries got in the way of their World Series. They should be proud of their effort, all things considered, but it won't be long until GM Dave Dombrowski starts looking at ways to upgrade their rotation for the future.

What's next: The Rangers will face either the St. Louis Cardinals or Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. Because the National League won the All-Star Game, the Rangers will open the Series on the road.

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