10/16/11 2:03 AM ET
Performer of the game: Texas' Michael Young
By Louie Horvath / MLB.com
Spin to Win
When Young stepped to the plate in the third with runners on first and second, one out and Texas down, 2-0, the inning looked promising, but far from the nine-run outburst."I was looking to be aggressive on strikes," Young said. "I was happy I got the opportunity to hit with guys on base, and fortunately, it worked out." Young turned on the first pitch he saw from Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer and lined it down the left-field line, plating Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton to tie the ballgame. Later in the same inning, Young came up again after Hamilton was intentionally walked to load the bases. This time, Young fought off an inside fastball from Tigers reliever Rick Porcello that sliced just inside the right-field line to drive in two more and increase the lead to 9-2.
Young in the clutch
|Michael Young||Rangers||Third||2B, 2B||2011 ALCS, Gm 6|
|Ross Youngs||N.Y. Giants||Seventh||2B, 3B||1921 World Series, Gm 3|
|Matt Williams||D-backs||Third||2B, 2B||2001 World Series, Gm 6|
|Jacoby Ellsbury||Red Sox||Third||2B, 2B||2007 World Series, Gm 3|
"We never give up on that guy," Napoli said. "He was struggling a little bit, but we knew he would come through. He's a professional hitter, and he's one of the greatest hitters in this game. We never gave up on him, we had his back and he performed tonight."Young became the fourth player in playoff history to hit multiple extra-base hits in the same inning and the first to do that and drive in four runs. Before Nelson Cruz struck with his sixth ALCS homer in the seventh, Young added a solo shot to straightaway center field, his third extra-base hit of the game. For Young, who has amassed 2,061 career hits, it was just the third time he had accomplished such a feat. It was quite the turnaround for Young, who started the playoffs in a 1-for-11 funk with runners in scoring position out of the cleanup spot. "You could look at the numbers and say he hasn't had a good postseason, but a lot of times, all you need is for guys to have one good game to get the team going, and that's what he did," Rangers outfielder David Murphy said. With that, the "Rangerman" will now focus on bringing the franchise its first World Series championship. "This is a great feeling, but we're not done yet," Young said. "We're going to enjoy this tonight and then tomorrow we will start focusing on the next step."
Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.