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Nelson Cruz Leads Texas Rangers to Game 4 ALCS Win

Harry How, Getty Images

The Texas Rangers needed 11 innings to beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

In a game that started late because of a lengthy rain delay, it didn’t lack any drama as the Rangers had to make plays on the mound, on the field and with the bat to get one win closer to the World Series.

The Tigers got out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third and then the lead was erased in the sixth by four Ranger hits which plated 3 runs.

Tigers 3B Brandon Inge then tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a solo homer off of Alexi Ogando.  The homer also led to Ogando blowing the save for the Rangers.

The Tigers best chance to win came in the bottom of the eighth. With one out in the inning and no one on base, Rangers Manager Ron Washington signals for Rangers pitcher Mike Adams to intentionally walk Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera then advances to third on Victor Martinez’s single to right. The next play was the Rangers defensive play of the game. Delmon Young flies out to Nelson Cruz down the right field line, Cabrera tags up from third and Cruz throws a bullet to Mike Napoli at home plate.  Napoli holds on to the ball as Cabrera collides with him and the double play ends the inning.

The top of the 11th inning started with Josh Hamilton hitting a double.  Mike Young struck out. Adrian Beltre was then intentionally walked to set up a double play.  Mike Napoli then hit a single to center, scoring Hamilton and giving the Rangers a one-run lead. Nelson Cruz came up next and hit a three run homer to left center field, giving Texas a 7-3 lead.

“Today, we certainly needed what (Cruz) gave us,” Ron Washington told MLB.com. “For you guys that haven’t seen Nelson every day, he’s capable of doing exactly what he’s doing. I’m just happy that we as the Texas Rangers are reaping the benefit of it.

“We’ve been waiting for it for a long time, and as I always say, I don’t judge Nelson just because he hits balls out the ballpark. He’s a complete player. He takes pride in every part of the game. Tonight it was, ‘Thank you, Nelson Cruz.’”

Neftali Feliz then came in to pitch the bottom of the 11th inning for Texas and he set down the Tigers in order to close out the game.

Scott Feldman picked up the win and Jose Valverde took the loss for Detroit.

The Rangers now have a 3 games to 1 lead over the Tigers in the ALCS. Tomorrow’s Game 5 will start at 3:19p Central Time.

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