Rangers Tame Tigers 3-2 in ALCS Opener

Verlander and Co. can't get it done in rain-delayed game
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 9, 2011 8:07 AM CDT
Texas Rangers' David Murphy, left, is greeted by a teammate after scoring from a single by Ian Kinsler, during Game 1 of baseball's American League championship series against the Detroit Tigers Saturday,...   (Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – A few minutes past midnight, the Texas Rangers had one more victory over Justin Verlander—and the Detroit Tigers lost yet another wet playoff opener started by their ace. "If anywhere in the country has a drought, just bring me in and I'll fix that," Verlander said after the Rangers beat him 3-2 last night in Game 1 of the AL championship series opener. Before the game was interrupted twice by rain for a total of 1 hour, 50 minutes in the top of the fifth inning, Nelson Cruz broke a postseason slump with a home run and the defending AL champions scored all of their runs off Verlander.

The likely AL Cy Young Award winner was 24-5 during the regular and had been 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three previous career starts at hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark, allowing three runs in 21 innings. Texas matched that run total in four innings when it counted most. "I just didn't have it. My location wasn't very good at all," Verlander said. The rain delays were the first at Rangers Ballpark since May 24. This season was played during one of the hottest and driest summers ever in North Texas, including 27 games when the temperature was 100 degrees or more at first pitch. Game 2 is tonight.

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