October 12, 2011
Score and situation: Thanks to the arms and bats of Mike Napoli(notes) and Nelson Cruz(notes), the Texas Rangers outlasted the Detroit Tigers 7-3 in 11 innings on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the ALCS.
[Related: Rangers' Nelson Cruz bruises Tigers again]
Leading lads: Napoli made a pretty throw to get Austin Jackson(notes) trying to steal second base in the bottom of the 1oth, and put Texas ahead with an RBI single in the 11th. Cruz threw a runner out at the plate with the score tied in the eighth and followed Napoli with a three-run homer against Jose Valverde(notes) to give the Rangers huge insurance in the 11th. He also ended Game 2 with a grand slam.
While Alexi Ogando(notes) allowed the tying run on a home run by Brandon Inge(notes), the Rangers bullpen pitched five other scoreless innings. For Detroit, Rick Porcello(notes) pitched his butt off (figuratively).
Head hangers: Tigers manager Jim Leyland intentionally walked Adrian Beltre(notes) — who hadn't hit a ball out of the infield — to set up the double play and face Napoli in the 11th. Pitching his fifth inning in three days, Valverde didn't have it in the 11th after getting three outs in the 10th.
What they'll be talking about: The decision by third-base coach Gene Lamont to send Cabrera home in the eighth on Cruz's catch and throw. Cruz has a good arm, though he hadn't thrown anyone out at home from right field all season hadn't. And Cabrera, while a slow-poke, had just gone from first to third on a single. Leyland said it was a "great decision" but also that most runners would have been out at home.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Video: Highlights and lookahead to ALCS Game 5
• In time of need, Michael Jordan silent in NBA labor talks
• MMA fighter will sit in a kennel to help save puppies