Detroit’s big bats, quiet for the first two games of the American League Championship Series, awoke at home last night and kept the Tigers’ pennant hopes alive. Victor Martinez hit a big home run in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1 and Miguel Cabrera provided some insurance in the seventh as Detroit won 5-2 to take Game 3 and pull to within 2-1 of Texas in the series overall.
Doug Fister got off to a rocky start last night, giving up three straight hits and a run in the first inning, but he got a big double play ball, only gave up the single run and then shut down Texas the rest of the way. While the top of the Ranger order—namely leadoff man Ian Kinsler and #3 hitter Josh Hamilton—each had two hits apiece, Texas was let down by its 4 thru 7 spots, which combined to go 0-for-15 with a walk. That’s Adrian Beltre, Michael Young, Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz, the hero of the first two games who came up small in Game 3. Texas’ only other run was one they were lucky to get in the 8th. Yorvit Torrelba was set to be out by ten feet after foolishly trying to stretch a single into a double, until Ramon Santiago let the ball get away from him on the tag and Torrealba was able to score.
It’s a doubleheader of LCS action today. Detroit and Texas resume hostilities at 4:19 ET on Fox, with young Rick Porcello getting the ball for Detroit and against Texas lefty Matt Harrison. The Ranger starter pitched very well in Game 4 of the Division Series against Tampa Bay and I’m looking for him to get a strong outing today, while Texas is able to open up against a Porcello and move the Rangers to within a game of the pennant. If you’re a Tiger fan though, right now you know Justin Verlander is guaranteed another start in Game 5, so if your team just wins today, they’ll be expected to sweep at home and go back to Texas for Games 6 & 7 needing only one win.
St. Louis hosts Milwaukee in prime-time action (8 ET, TBS) as Yovani Gallardo faces Chris Carpenter. Both starters were heroes in the Division Series, but there’s more pressure on Gallardo tonight. As we’ve discussed here in the Notebook already, the Cards have better pitching depth so even if Carpenter doesn’t win, they have realistic hopes for winning Game 4 with Kyle Lohse. Milwaukee, already with a poor road record, doesn’t have to count on Randy Wolf to that extreme tomorrow night so it’s best they come up with a W here in Game 3.