Rangers heading to World Series
While Young became only the fourth player in postseason history with two extra-base hits in the same inning - first a tying double into the left-field corner and then one down the right field line for a 9-2 lead - every batter in the Texas lineup reached base at least once in the third. By the time all the fireworks was over, the Rangers scored the most runs ever in a postseason game against the Tigers.
A series that started with a 3-2 Rangers victory, included two 11-inning wins by Texas and was extended by a Detroit rally sparked by a likely double-play grounder ricocheting off third base, ended with the highest-scoring playoff game since the Yankees routed Boston 19-8 in Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS.
Also among the sellout crowd of 51,508 was Dirk Nowitzki, MVP of the NBA finals won by the Dallas Mavericks in June.
Now the Rangers get another chance to bring another championship to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In his 11th season in Texas, Young had played in 1,508 regular-season games before finally getting into the playoffs last year. He added a huge exclamation point to his already big night when he led off the seventh with a 416-foot homer to straightaway center.
His five RBIs matched the Rangers postseason record, set by Cruz in Game 2 when he had the first game-ending grand slam ever in the playoffs.
Last winter, Young had requested a trade after the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre and acquired Mike Napoli, moves that led to Young becoming primarily a designated hitter and first baseman, a position he had never played. He had already been a starting second baseman and an All-Star at shortstop and third base.
The Texas third was the highest-scoring inning in a postseason game since the Angels matched a playoff record with 10 runs in the seventh of Game 5 during the 2002 ALCS against Minnesota.
Scherzer was gone after Cruz fought back from an 0-2 count to load the bases. By time the third Detroit reliever finally induced Beltre into an inning-ending flyout with the Rangers up 9-2, fans roared in anticipation while wildly waving white rally towels - and one fan behind the home dugout swayed a Texas state flag back and forth in the air.
Detroit had already avoided elimination twice this postseason, winning Game 5 of the AL division series at Yankee Stadium and then extending the ALCS with a 7-5 win at home Thursday. The Tigers, seeking their first Series title since 1984, quickly jumped ahead in Game 6 when Derek Holland allowed solo homers to Miguel Cabrera in the first and Jhonny Peralta in the second.
"I don't think I've ever been prouder of a team than I am of this team," Leyland said. "They gave everything they had."
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