The banged up Detroit Tigers clawed their way out of a potential 3-0 hole in the ALCS against the Texas Rangers with a 5-2 win Tuesday night in a pivotal Game 3 in Detroit.
The Tigers' win was thanks to Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and another pivotal performance on the mound by Doug Fister.
Fister again delivered a strong start in a game Detroit needed and Cabrera homered and had a tiebreaking double to lead the Tigers past the Rangers.
"You know what? This is us," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "We are what we are. We've been doing this for the whole year, and we're going to either win this thing or go down with what we got."
Martinez homered in the fourth to tie the score at 1, hurting his ribcage in the process. He stayed in the game and has every intention of being in the lineup Wednesday when Detroit will try to even the series.
"The only way I'm not playing is if I wake up dead," he said.
Detroit dropped the first two games in Texas before turning to Fister, who won the decisive fifth game of the division series at Yankee Stadium last week. He was sharp again, allowing two runs and seven hits with no walks in 7 1-3 innings.
Jose Valverde, after tossing a season-high two innings the day before, worked around a leadoff double in the ninth for his third playoff save. He got some help from Cabrera, who made a diving play at first base.
Matt Harrison starts Game 4 for Texas against Rick Porcello — both went 14-9 this season.
"It's going to be a long series," Cabrera said. "Nobody (said) it's going to be easy. You've got to be patient."
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre fouled a ball off his left knee in the fourth and hobbled the rest of the night. X-rays were negative and he has a bruise.
Cabrera's double in the fifth put the Tigers ahead 2-1 and he added a towering solo homer in the seventh.
Jhonny Peralta also went deep for the Tigers and Austin Jackson broke out of his postseason slump with three hits, including an RBI single.
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