ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers are headed to their second straight World Series, finishing off the Detroit Tigers to become the American League’s first repeat champion in a decade.
Cruz set a postseason record with his sixth home run of the series, Michael Young hit a pair of two-run doubles in a nine-run third inning, and the Rangers romped to a 15-5 win Saturday night that won the AL pennant in six games.
They’ll open the World Series on Wednesday night at St. Louis or Milwaukee, seeking the first title in the history of a franchise that started play in 1961.
Cruz had 13 RBIs in the series, another postseason record, and was selected MVP. Young, who also homered, had five RBIs in the finale, and the longest-tenured player on the Rangers helped make sure the World Series will again be deep in the heart of Texas.
With former President George W. Bush seated in the front row alongside Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, part of the ownership group that took over the team last year, Rangers manager Ron Washington was at the edge of the dugout wildly waving his arms and shouting encouragement to his players as the big inning unfolded.
All Tigers manager Jim Leyland could do was take off his cap and scratch his head.
A franchise that started as the expansion Washington Senators and moved to Texas in 1972 had failed to reach the World Series in its first 49 seasons. Then the Rangers won their first AL pennant last year only to lose the Series to the San Francisco Giants in five games.