Justin Verlander did his best over seven-plus innings Thursday night to keep the Detroit Tigers in the game. Meanwhile, the offense was behind him all the way and extended the series with a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers to cut the Texas lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series and shift the contest back to Arlington.
The Tigers managed to use a little teamwork to hit for the cycle during the sixth inning. In order. Ryan Raburn got on base with the single, Miguel Cabrera took care of the double, Victor Martinez nailed the triple, and Delmon Young crushed a two-run shot (his second of the game) to cap the deal and give Detroit a 6-2 lead. History was made during this series once again, as it became the first natural cycle ever to happen in the postseason.
Speaking of records, Nelson Cruz and his Boomstick hit a ridiculous fifth home run of the series, becoming the fifth player in history to do so, in the top of the eighth to bring the Rangers within three. They added another run on a Michael Young base hit in the ninth to make it 7-5, but the Tigers held on for the victory, even without Jose Valverde to shut it down.
Phil Coke got the final five outs for his first career postseason save. Way to go, buddy.
The Rangers will get another shot at punching their ticket to the World Series for the second straight season in Game 6 Saturday night in Texas. Derek Holland and Max Scherzer, both of whom have failed to get a decision this postseason, will face each other at 8:05pm ET on FOX.
[Detroit Free Press]