Tigers claw back into series with 5-2 victoryDETROIT - Jhonny Peralta, Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera all hit home runs as the Detroit Tigers clawed their way back into the American League Championship series with a 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
After losing two games in Texas, the Tigers returned home to deliver some “Motown Magic” and trim the Rangers’ lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series with Game Four set for Wednesday at Comerica Park in Detroit.
While the injury-riddled Tigers avoided slipping into a 3-0 hole, history still favors the Rangers. Of the 21 teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in a League Championship Series, 18 have advanced to the World Series.
Already missing outfielders Brennan Boesch (broken thumb) and Magglio Ordonez (broken ankle), Detroit’s dreams of a trip to the World Series suffered another setback when manager Jim Leyland announced that slugger Delmon Young would be scratched from Game Three with a strained stomach muscle.
But backed into a corner the scrappy Tigers bared their teeth.
“We’re tough,” Leyland told reporters. “Our guys are playing with pain and some injuries.
“Both teams are showing what it’s all about.
“You have great appreciation for that as a manager.”
Detroit endured a nervous start when Ian Kinsler hit the first pitch from starter Doug Fister and lined it into left field for a single.
Elvis Andrus followed with a base hit before Josh Hamilton blooped a single into center to have Detroit 1-0 down before much of the home crowd had settled into their seats.
After serving up three straight hits, Fister quickly settled down giving up just four more over the next 6 1/3 innings, while the Detroit bats finally came to life.
“They came out swinging the bats,” said Fister, who came over to the Tigers in a trade deadline deal with Seattle.
“That was their approach, it was obviously working for them.
“It was a matter of focusing on the pitch at hand and taking it one pitch at a time.”
Martinez ignited the capacity crowd of 41,905 when he led off the fourth with a solo home run, taking Texas starter Colby Lewis over the wall in right.
The Tigers added another run in the fifth, grabbing the lead on Cabrera’s two out RBI double.
Cabrera has now hit safely in each of his 10 career league championship series games, three off the record set by Greg Luzinski between 1976 and 1980.
Detroit had looked poised for another big inning when they loaded the bases but failed to deliver.