ARLINGTON, Texas — The Detroit Tigers certainly had their chances in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series.
Two on and none out in the first inning, middle of the order coming up. Bases loaded in the second and ninth. A runner on second base with one out in the 10th. A man on for AL batting champion Miguel Cabrera in the 11th.
Detroit couldn’t manage a single run in any of those situations, failures that loomed large once Ryan Perry served up a game-ending grand slam to Nelson Cruz in the 11th inning, giving the Texas Rangers a 7-3 victory Monday and sending the Tigers home trailing 0-2 in the best-of-seven ALCS.
“We didn’t quite get it done,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “We haven’t been able to come up with any big hits. That’s really hard. We’ve had some opportunities, but up to this point, we just haven’t been able to do that.”
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After leaving nine runners on base in the opener, the Tigers stranded 13 this time. The five they wasted in the first two innings were as painful as the five they left in the last three innings.
“They made every pitch when they needed it,” Cabrera said.
Another stat that’s tough for Detroit to swallow: 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position in Game 2. The lone exception was Ryan Raburn’s three-run homer in the third inning.
“It’s just been two close games and could have gone either way,” said cleanup hitter Victor Martinez, who went 0 for 4 and is 0 for 7 in the series. “Unfortunately, we end up on the losing side, but … we’re going home. We’ve been doing it the whole season: turn the page, come back tomorrow and keep on going.”
Leyland insists his club is fine, especially headed to Detroit. After all, if the Tigers keep getting this many chances to score, the lineup is bound to start coming through.
Still, they’re running out of time.
Only three teams have overcome 0-2 deficits in the LCS since it became a seven-game series in 1985: the Royals and Cardinals, both in ’85, and the 2004 Red Sox, who famously clawed from an 0-3 hole to become World Series champions.
“They’ve got to win two more. We have to win four. It’s that simple,” Leyland said.
Source: Associated Press