Well, it won’t be a sweep. As expected, the American League Championship Series is headed down a path to be a grueling, down-to-the-wire series.
The Detroit Tigers became the first team to hand Texas Rangers starter Colby Lewis a loss in October, pulling away for a 5-2 victory in Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Texas leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for 3:19 p.m. CT Wednesday afternoon in Detroit. The Rangers will start left-hander Matt Harrison, while the Tigers will counter with right-hander Rick Porcello.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Tigers starter Doug Fister on an RBI single by Josh Hamilton. They could’ve added more, though, with runners at first and second with no outs. But Michael Young bounced into a double play, and Adrian Beltre struck out to end the inning.
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Texas appeared to be in good shape with Lewis, who entered the game 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five postseason starts. He opened with three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fourth.
Lewis, who allowed an American League-leading 35 home runs in the regular season, served up another to Victor Martinez to lead off the fourth. Martinez sent one into the right-field seats to even the game at 1-1.
In the fifth, Detroit took a 2-1 lead with three consecutive two-out hits, including an RBI double by Miguel Cabrera.
Lewis unraveled more in the sixth. He gave up another leadoff home run, this time to Jhonny Peralta. After retiring the next two, Lewis saw his night come to an end after a single by Andy Dirks.
Dirks would eventually score, stealing second and scoring on a single by Austin Jackson off Rangers reliever Koji Uehara.
Lewis had allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
Uehara finished the sixth, and came out for the seventh where he promptly gave up a solo home run to Cabrera. He retired Martinez on a deep fly ball, and then left-hander Darren Oliver closed out the inning.
By that point, though, it was clear the deficit was too much for the Rangers to overcome.
Fister allowed two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. Joaquin Benoit finished the eighth, and Jose Valverde closed it out with a scoreless ninth.