* Rangers reach World Series for second year in a row
* To face either St. Louis or Milwaukee in Fall Classic
(adds details, quotes)
Oct 15 (Reuters) - The Texas Rangers crushed the Detroit
Tigers 15-5 on Saturday to reach the World Series for the second
year in a row by winning the best-of-seven American League
Championship Series 4-2.
The Rangers erupted for nine runs in the third inning to
overturn a 2-0 deficit and launch a Texas-sized party at Rangers
Ballpark in Arlington.
After Michael Young caught Brandon Inge's pop up at first
base, the post-game celebrations began with players pouring out
of the dugout to hug each other in the middle of the diamond,
spraying ginger ale over one another's head and delaying the
champagne in deference to recovering alcoholic Josh Hamilton.
At the center of the celebrations was slugging outfielder
Nelson Cruz, who launched another 'Cruz missile' with his
two-run home run in the seventh inning that gave him a playoff
series record six homer and 13 runs batted in, as well as the
ALCS Most Valuable Player Award.
"The more you win, it's getting more exciting," Cruz told
reporters. "We're back to the World Series, what more can we ask
With former U.S. President George W. Bush, a one-time owner
of the Major League Baseball club, sitting in the stands next to
co-owner and baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, the Rangers sent
14 batters to the plate in a thunderous third inning as four
Detroit pitchers tried to stop the Texas stampede.
The onslaught was keyed by a pair of two-run doubles from
Michael Young, who had carried a slumping .158 series average
into the game and later added a home run to his batting line.
"It's very sweet," said Young, a 15-year veteran, who last
year reached the postseason for the first time and went all the
way to the World Series before the Rangers lost in five games to
the San Francisco Giants.
"We're happy to be going to the World Series right now. But
we have a lot of work to do. We're happy, but we're not
At the trophy presentation on the field, Ryan said: "I
couldn't be prouder of this group of men who came together this
spring with a mission with one thing in mind, that this is a
stepping stone to what they want to get done and that's to win a
Manager Ron Washington saluted his players.
"We couldn't have done it without the commitment and the way
they grind every single day," he said. "All of us in this game
know it's not easy to get back to this point. I tip my hat to
"They believed in one another and they never cared who got
it done as long as it got done. And that's 'team' right there."
Solo home runs in the first inning by Miguel Cabrera and in
the second by Jhonny Peralta lifted Detroit into an early lead
against Texas starter Derek Holland.
The advantage was short-lived as the Rangers' bats roared to
life in the third against Tigers' starter Max Scherzer, who was
followed to the mound by Dan Schlereth, Rick Porcello and Ryan
Perry retired Adrian Beltre to finally end the third inning
Texas reliever Scott Feldman got the final out of the fifth
inning after Holland had yielded a two-run homer to Austin
Jackson. Alexi Ogando followed him to the mound and got credit
for the win.
Detroit's Cabrera added his second homer of the game in the
"They earned it, and proved in this series that they were
the team that should be representing the American League in the
World Series," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
The Rangers became the first American League team to reach
the World Series in consecutive Major League Baseball seasons
since the New York Yankees made four straight trips from
Texas will meet the winner of the NLCS, which the St. Louis
Cardinals lead 3-2 over the Brewers. Milwaukee host Game Six on
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Peter
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