By Steve Keating
DETROIT (Reuters) - Jhonny Peralta, Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera all hit home runs as the Detroit Tigers clawed their way back into the American League Championship series with a 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.
After losing two games in Texas, the Tigers returned home to deliver some 'Motown Magic' and trim the Rangers' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series with Game Four set for Wednesday at Comerica Park.
While the injury-addled Tigers avoided slipping into a 3-0 hole, history still favors the Rangers. Of the 21 teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in a League Championship Series, 18 have advanced to the World Series.
Already missing outfielders Brennan Boesch (broken thumb) and Magglio Ordonez (broken ankle), Detroit's dreams of a trip to the World Series suffered another setback when manager Jim Leyland announced that slugger Delmon Young would be scratched from Game Three with a strained stomach muscle.
But backed into a corner the scrappy Tigers bared their teeth in impressive style despite enduring a nervous start when Ian Kinsler took the first pitch from starter Doug Fister and lined it into left field for a single.
Elvis Andrus followed with a base hit before Josh Hamilton blooped a single into center to put Detroit into a 1-0 hole even before most of the home crowd had settled into their seats.
After serving up three straight hits, Fister quickly settled down giving up just four more over the next 6 1/3 innings, while the Detroit bats finally came to life.
Martinez ignited the capacity crowd of 41,905 when he led off the fourth with a solo home run, taking Texas starter Colby Lewis over the wall in right.
The Tigers added another run in the fifth, grabbing the lead on Cabrera's two out RBI double.
Detroit had looked poised for a big inning when they loaded the bases but once again failed to deliver, leaving three men stranded.
Jittery Tigers fans, however, got the big inning they were waiting for in the sixth, Peralta leading off with solo homer and Austin Jackson chipping in with a two-out RBI to put the Tigers in charge at 4-1.
The hits kept on coming in the seventh, Cabrera crushing another lead off homer while the Rangers pulled a run back in the top of the eighth to close out the scoring.
(Editing by John O'Brien)