Cruz homer gives Orioles lead (Orioles sweep Tigers, headed to ALCS)

DETROIT - Nelson Cruz broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning today with a two-run homer off Tigers left-hander David Price. The Orioles lead 2-0 in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. Cruz continues his assault on postseason pitching. Cruz has 16 career playoff home runs, tied with Carlos Beltran for ninth on the all-time list. He just passed Babe Ruth. cruz-gray-HR-ALDS-sidebar.jpgCruz is 6-for-11 with two homers and five RBIs in the series. Price was working on a two-hit shutout before Adam Jones singled with one out in the sixth. Jones is 2-for-11 in the series and 4-for-37 with 10 strikeouts lifetime in the playoffs. Cruz followed by launching an 84 mph changeup to right, the ball barely clearing the 330-foot sign in the corner. Cruz is 12-for-31 (.387) with four home runs lifetime vs. Price. Bud Norris retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the sixth. He's thrown 92 pitches in his first career playoff game. Andrew Miller is warming in the bullpen. David Lough has replaced Delmon Young in left field. Are the champagne and beer on ice? Update: Norris allowed two hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings, with two walks, six strikeouts and a wild pitch. He was removed after 100 pitches, 60 for strikes. Andrew Miller replaced Norris after Nick Castellanos walked and retired the next two batters, including pinch-hitter Rajai Davis. Update II: The Orioles sweep the Tigers in the ALDS with today's 2-1 victory and are headed to their first Championship Series since 1997. The Orioles have their first playoff sweep since the 1971 ALCS. Manager Buck Showalter advances to his first ALCS. Miller retired all five batters he faced without letting a ball out of the infield. Zach Britton recorded the save after back-to-back doubles by Victor and J.D. Martinez with no outs.

On to the ALCS: Norris with a gem, Cruz with a hom...
Getting ready to start Game 3 (still scoreless)

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