October 10, 2011
Score and situation: Was it worth the wait, Rangers fans? Though it came almost 24 hours after Game 2 was supposed to begin on Sunday night, Texas won Monday's contest in the rarest and most dramatic of fashions when Nelson Cruz(notes) hit the first walkoff grand slam in postseason history. The resulting 7-3 win over the Tigers sends the Rangers to Detroit in prime position — they lead the ALCS 2-0.
[Y! Video: Cruz's game-winning grand slam]
Leading lads: If Cruz is still feeling the ill effects of a hamstring injury, he certainly isn't showing it. Not only did he win the game with the granny, but the Rangers' big slugger belted a solo shot to tie the game at three in the seventh inning. The homers were the eighth and ninth of his postseason career, a Texas Rangers franchise record.
As in Game 1, the Rangers bullpen was also unbeatable. Scott Feldman(notes) pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-hit, no-run ball after starter Derek Holland(notes) gave up three runs and couldn't get past the third inning. Alexi Ogando(notes), Neftali Feliz(notes) and Mike Adams(notes) also contributed at least an inning of scoreless relief apiece, giving up only three hits in four innings of work.
Head hangers: Tigers starter Max Scherzer(notes) posted a quality start against Texas' lineup with three runs over seven innings of work on Monday and the next three Detroit pitchers were able to keep the Rangers from scoring. Ryan Perry(notes), however, could not get the job done in the 11th, loading the bases with no outs before serving up the slam to Cruz.
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Key play: It's obviously Cruz's slam, but we'll use this space to highlight another great play: Elvis Andrus'(notes) over-the-shoulder catch on Victor Martinez's(notes) fly to short center ended Detroit's bases-loaded scoring threat in the top of the ninth.
What they'll be talking about: The Tigers had good chances to win both games at Rangers Ballpark, but the Rangers bullpen would not give up any ground. With the "rainout" eliminating Monday's offday, the two bullpens will be right back at it at Comerica Park on Tuesday night. Can Detroit's Doug Fister(notes) save his pen by going deep into Game 3? Can he freeze a Rangers offense that has been relatively quiet in regulation so far?
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