Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Tigers 5, Rangers 2
By Richard Durrett
DETROIT -- The Tigers got their first win of this American League Championship Series behind some power from Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta. Detroit was able to get to Colby Lewis and then held on. The Rangers got a first-inning run, but scored just one more after that. The Rangers lead the series, 2-1. Some quick thoughts on tonight's Game 3 (more to come from the clubhouse):
* For the Tigers to have a shot to win this series, Martinez and Cabrera have to hit. Both contributed on Tuesday. Martinez drilled a 2-1 fastball over the right-field fence in the fourth. Lewis allowed an AL-high 35 homers in 2011 (24 of them were solo shots). Martinez appeared to hurt himself on the swing, slamming his batting helmet down as he got back to the dugout after a slow home run trot.
* One inning later, Miguel Cabrera came up with runners on the corners and two outs in a 1-1 game. The Rangers elected to pitch to him despite an apparently injured Martinez in the on-deck circle. Cabrera went the other way on an 0-2 pitch for a double to score the go-ahead run.
* Lewis allowed his second homer of the game as he tried to get ahead with a first-pitch fastball to Jhonny Peralta. It was hit out to left field.
* Lewis was out after 5 2/3 innings and Koji Uehara came in and gave up a single to Austin Jackson (from Denton, Texas) to make it 4-1 Tigers. That run was charged to Lewis, ending his string of postseason starts of at least five innings with two or fewer runs allowed (he had five of those before Tuesday). Two of Lewis' roughest regular-season starts came against the Tigers. He gave up 13 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings in two starts this year against Detroit.
* The Rangers scored first yet again in this AL Championship Series, getting a run in the top of the first. Ian Kinsler hit the first pitch on the ground between third and short and Elvis Andrus followed with a ground-ball single through the right side of the infield. With runners at the corners, Josh Hamilton delivered an RBI single to center to score Kinsler.
* Fister kept the Rangers from making the first inning even bigger as he got Michael Young to ground into a double play and struck out Adrian Beltre.
* Lewis looked dominant in the first. He threw 15 pitches, 12 of them strikes. His fastball had good location and his breaking pitches had nice movement. Lewis' slider to Miguel Cabrera was filthy, getting a swinging strikeout to end the first inning.
* The slider was a critical pitch for Lewis early on Tuesday. He struck out three batters with it, including Alex Avila and Ryan Raburn in back-to-back at-bats with runners at first and second in the second inning.
* Yorvit Torrealba got his first action of the playoffs, handling the game-calling duties for Lewis. He was 3-for-3 at the plate, including a double to lead off the eighth. He was thrown out trying to get to second on a dirt ball in the fifth.
* Beltre appeared to hit a ball off his left knee. He stayed in the game for the at-bat, but it was clear he was in pain.
* Cabrera hit a home run in the seventh off Uehara, who gave up 11 homers in 65 innings in the regular season. The homer came on an 0-2 count. Cabrera was very good on 0-2 counts on Tuesday.
* Young was 0-for-4 with three ground balls to short and a strikeout with Hamilton standing at second base and no outs in the ninth. He is now 3-for-27 in the playoffs.
* The Nos. 4-5-6-7 hitters for Rangers on Tuesday: 0-for-15.
* Kinsler got on base to lead off the first, third and sixth (a single, an infield single and a hit-by-pitch) and scored once. His groundout in the eighth scored Torrealba from third.