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Around the MLB Playoffs: October 11 Edition

News and notes from around the playoffs:

Yesterday's action:

  • Texas now holds a 2-0 advantage in the ALCS thanks to its 7-3, 11-inning victory over Detroit. You already know about Nelson Cruz's walk-off grand slam, so here's how things got to that point: the Rangers jumped on Max Scherzer for two runs in the first inning on run-scoring doubles from Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre, respectively, but the Tigers roared back to claim a 3-2 advantage in the third inning on Ryan Raburn's three-run homer. Detroit maintained its advantage until the bottom of the seventh, when Cruz crushed his first homer of the day -- a solo shot off of Scherzer -- to knot the game at 3. The teams traded zeroes for the next three innings, but it took a miraculous escape from Jose Valverde in the ninth inning to keep the score tied: Beltre lead off the bottom of the ninth with a double (that missed being a walk-off homer by about five feet), Valverde intentionally walked Mike Napoli and then hit Cruz on his right forearm to load the bases with nobody out. But Valverde induced a pop up from David Murphy, then got Mitch Moreland to ground into a 3-2-3 double play to escape the jam.
  • Say this for Shaun Marcum: when he's bad -- and "bad" is about the kindest adjective you can use to describe his outing last night -- you know it right from the start. Albert Pujols obliterated a batting practice fastball from Marcum for a two-run homer in the first inning, and St. Louis never looked back after that, clobbering Milwaukee, 12-3, to even the NLCS at one game each. Our recap is here.
And the LCS standings read like this:
  • Texas 2, Detroit 0.
  • Milwaukee 1, St. Louis 1.

On tap for today:

Rangers @ Tigers: Lewis (14-10, 4.40) vs. Fister (11-13, 2.83) at 7:05 p.m. CDT (FOX)