Nelson Cruz Grand Slam
October 11, 2011 by staff
Nelson Cruz Grand Slam, Nelson Cruz hit a grand slam home the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Rangers a 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday and a 2-0 lead in the best of seven games Championship Series.
Cruz, who tied the game at 3-3 with a shot in the seventh inning against reliever Ryan connected with the bases loaded Perry for the first walk-off grand slam ever in the postseason to thrill a crowd of 51,000 in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
“It was exciting,” said Cruz, who had been mired in a depression before reaching a homer in the first game of the series. “I was trying to hit a fly ball to the gap, but left. When you get a chance for the team to get a” W “[win], which is most important.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington said it was only a matter of time before Cruz, who hit 29 homers this season, got hot.
“What makes this night, I was able to do,” said Washington. “He did for us during the course of the year. No doubt, it is necessary that we gave everything tonight. He tied the ball game and won it.”
Ryan Raburn had put Detroit ahead 3-2 with a three-run homer in the third inning, before Cruz was the Rangers again on an equal footing with a solo homer.
Both teams squandered opportunities with the bases loaded in the ninth inning before the Rangers made the most of a second chance to finish off the Tigers.
Detroit had the bases loaded and two outs Neftali Feliz Texas near the mound when Victor Martinez hit a pop fly behind second base to shortstop Elvis Andrus just held it after it jumped out of his glove.
Texas had an even better opportunity in the bottom of the ninth when loaded the bases with no outs after Detroit Cruz Jose Valverde struck near the wrist with a pitch, but Valverde, who converted 49 of 49 saves during the season, David Murphy hit a fly ball to left and the speedy Elvis Andrus did not try to tag-up from third and goal attempt.
Mitch Moreland went next door and hit hard grounder to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who sent it cleanly and fired home to force out Andrus.
Receiver Alex Avila Cabrera fired again, to put a sweeping tag to complete an exciting Moreland inning-ending double play.
“Both bullpens did a great job to finish,” said Detroit manager Jim Leyland.
After Valverde had two entrances, Leyland brought Ryan Perry, who had a 5.45 earned run average in the regular season.
Michael Young singled to left, and Adrian Beltre singled to center. Mike Napoli hit a liner to right center then appeared to be catchable, but bounced off the tip of the glove outfielder Andy Dirks reserve “to load the bases.
“We had a pineapple that is in that inning that extended the entrance was a little bit,” Leyland said. “If you keep giving a team like the many opportunities that will come with time and finally got.”
Mike Adams won in Texas, but Scott Feldman was a key factor inputs 4-1/3 hit relief after replacing struggling owner Derek Holland.
“That was probably the best game I’ve been part of,” said Feldman brown beard, sitting next to Cruz in the interview room. “When I do, seeing that the party thought it was going to get my beard gray. It was as if the actual racking nerves, but just awesome when this man left at the end.”
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