Nelson Cruz gives Orioles a 2-0 lead in ALDS Game 3 with a two-run homer


Tigers starter David Price was on a roll, having matched Orioles starter Bud Norris with five shutout innings. But things quickly started going downhill when the top of the sixth inning began, starting with catcher Alex Avila leaving the game after taking a Steve Pearce foul ball off of his facemask.

Bryan Holaday replaced Avila, and Price retired Pearce on a fly ball. Following that, Adam Jones reached on a single to left-center to bring up Nelson Cruz. Price evened the count at 1-1 to Cruz, then threw him an outside 84 MPH change-up. Cruz lined it down the right field line. Somehow, Cruz not only got enough power behind it, but was able to keep it fair as it tucked into the stands just to the left of the right field foul pole. It’s Cruz’s second homer of the ALDS and he has five RBI — easily making him the Orioles’ most productive hitter in the post-season thus far.

Norris retired the middle of the Tigers’ lineup in order in the bottom half of the sixth on three consecutive ground balls. The Orioles are nine outs away from advancing to the ALCS.