Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Baseball Digest | Cruz Missile Puts Texas In Command

The baseball post-season is all about do-overs. You can have a rotten regular season and then become a hero in October. You can also wear goat horns in in one series and be the guy who comes through with the big hit in the next clash. Nelson Cruz knows what it feels like. Though his Texas Rangers won their AL division series, Cruz played no offensive role in advancing to the next round. He was just 1-15 and struck out five times against the Tampa Bay Rays. All that changed on Monday though when Cruz, who had homered in Game 1, smacked two more to give his Texas Rangers a commanding two games to none lead over the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS.

Tigers’ starter Max Scherzer had given up a pair of early runs, but held a 3-2 lead entering the 7th inning, thanks to a Ryan Rayburn 3-run home run off of Rangers’ starter Derek Holland. That’s when Cruz played the hero for the first time, tying the game against Scherzer with a solo blast in the 7th inning. Then Cruz put his name in the record books when he became the first player in League Championship Series to hit a walk off grand slam. It came in the 11th inning after Ryan Perry had allowed three straight singles, and gave the Rangers a 7-3 victory. It was a home run that fit the moment; a majestic shot that simply had to stay fair, which it did.

Read the rest of this free story at BaseballDigest.com.

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