2011 American League Division Series
|Dates:||September 30–October 6|
TNT (Game 2)
|TV announcers:||Brian Anderson, Ron Darling and John Smoltz|
|Radio announcers:||Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser|
|Umpires:||Gerry Davis (crew chief), Tony Randazzo, Eric Cooper, Dan Iassogna, Ted Barrett and Bill Welke|
|Dates:||September 30–October 4|
TNT (Game 2)
|TV announcers:||Don Orsillo and Buck Martinez|
|Radio announcers:||Gary Cohen and Aaron Boone|
|Umpires:||Dale Scott (crew chief), Mark Carlson, Kerwin Danley, Greg Gibson, Brian Gorman, Marvin Hudson|
The 2011 American League Division Series (abbreviated ALDS) were two best-of-five playoffs comprising the opening round of the Major League Baseball postseason, played to determine the participating teams in the 2011 American League Championship Series. Three divisional winners and a fourth team—a wild card—played in two series. TBS televised all games but Game 2's of both series in the United States. Game 2's of both series were aired on TNT due to schedule conflicting with other ALDS games or the NLDS. The regular season finished on September 28, with the ALDS beginning September 30. Game 5 of the Yankees–Tigers series was played on October 6.
Under MLB's playoff format, no two teams from the same division were matched up in the Division Series, regardless of whether their records would normally indicate such a matchup. Home field advantage went to the team with the better regular-season record with the exception of the wild card team, which defers home field advantage regardless of record. The matchups for the 2011 ALDS were:
- (1) New York Yankees (East Division champions, 97–65) vs. (3) Detroit Tigers (Central Division champions, 95–67): Tigers won the series, 3–2.
- (2) Texas Rangers (West Division champions, 96–66) vs. (4) Tampa Bay Rays (Wild Card qualifier, 91–71): Rangers won the series, 3–1.
This was the second consecutive playoff meeting between the Rangers and Rays; the Rangers won 3–2 in the 2010 ALDS. The Tigers and Yankees previously met in the 2006 ALDS, in which the Tigers won 3–1, the last time they reached the postseason.
- On September 16, the Detroit Tigers clinched the AL Central title, becoming the first team of the season to qualify for the ALDS. It is the Tigers' first AL Central title since they joined the division in 1998, and the team's first division title overall since 1987, and first playoff appearance since winning the 2006 American League pennant as the Wild Card team.
- On September 21, the New York Yankees clinched the AL East title, their Major League record 17th overall.
- On September 23, after the Angels lost to the Athletics, the Texas Rangers clinched the AL West for the second straight year.
- On September 28, after making up a 9-game deficit in the final month of the season and going into the season's last day tied with the Red Sox for the last playoff berth, the Tampa Bay Rays clinched the AL Wild Card by defeating the Yankees in extra innings while the Red Sox lost to the Orioles.
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers 
Detroit won the series, 3–2.
|1||September 30† / October 1||Detroit Tigers – 3, New York Yankees – 9||Yankee Stadium||3:26 (1:17 delay)||50,940|
|2||October 2||Detroit Tigers – 5, New York Yankees – 3||Yankee Stadium||3:34||50,596|
|3||October 3||New York Yankees – 4, Detroit Tigers – 5||Comerica Park||3:14||43,581|
|4||October 4||New York Yankees – 10, Detroit Tigers – 1||Comerica Park||3:10||43,527|
|5||October 6||Detroit Tigers – 3, New York Yankees – 2||Yankee Stadium||3:34||50,960|
†: suspended in the bottom of the second inning due to rain
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays 
Texas won the series, 3–1.
|1||September 30||Tampa Bay Rays – 9, Texas Rangers – 0||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||3:00||50,498|
|2||October 1||Tampa Bay Rays – 6, Texas Rangers – 8||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||3:28||51,351|
|3||October 3||Texas Rangers – 4, Tampa Bay Rays – 3||Tropicana Field||3:51||32,828|
|4||October 4||Texas Rangers – 4, Tampa Bay Rays – 3||Tropicana Field||3:05||28,299|
New York vs. Detroit 
Game 1, September 30 (Completed October 1) 
|WP: Iván Nova (1–0) LP: Doug Fister (0–1)
DET: Delmon Young (1)
NYY: Robinson Canó (1)
In front of a Yankee Stadium record setting crowd of 50,940, Justin Verlander, 24-game winner, Triple Crown winner, and Cy Young Award frontrunner, started Game 1 for the Tigers against the Yankees' ace CC Sabathia. The Tigers started the scoring on Delmon Young's two-out solo home run in the top of the first inning. The Yankees managed to tie the game in the bottom half without a hit. Leadoff batter Derek Jeter reached first base on a wild pitch third strike. Jeter moved to third on Curtis Granderson's walk and Robinson Canó's groundout then scored on Alex Rodriguez's RBI groundout. The game was delayed by rain in the middle of the second inning and later suspended and resumed at 8:37 p.m. on October 1, pushing Game 2 back to October 2.
The suspension significantly altered both teams' pitching rotations for the series. Doug Fister and Iván Nova, both of whom were originally scheduled to start Game 2, entered as relief pitchers when Game 1 was resumed. Jorge Posada led off the continuation of the game with a single and then Russell Martin doubled, but Posada was tagged out trying to go home on a Brett Gardner grounder. The Tigers threatened in the fifth inning, putting men on first and second. However, Granderson made a strong throw to Jeter, who relayed to Martin at home to tag out Alex Avila trying to score the go-ahead run. Granderson hit a double in the bottom of the inning and Canó drove him in with an RBI double that was reviewed by instant replay after the ball hit the top of the wall near the boundary line. In the next inning, the Yankees scored six runs on a Gardner two-run single and, after Fister was relieved, a Canó grand slam, extending the Yankees lead to 8–1. Later, Canó knocked in his sixth RBI on an eighth-inning double to score Jeter, tying a Yankees postseason record for RBIs in a game by a single player.
The Tigers threatened in the top of ninth when Delmon Young's single, Miguel Cabrera's walk, and Victor Martinez's single loaded the bases. Nova was relieved by Luis Ayala, who surrendered an RBI groundout by Avila, an RBI single by Ryan Raburn, and a single by Jhonny Peralta to load the bases again. The Yankees turned to their closer, all-time save leader Mariano Rivera, in a non-save situation, who struck out Wilson Betemit to end the game.
Game 2, October 2 
|WP: Max Scherzer (1–0) LP: Freddy García (0–1)
DET: Miguel Cabrera (1)
NYY: Curtis Granderson (1), Nick Swisher (1)
Max Scherzer threw 5 1⁄3 no-hit innings before allowing a single to Robinson Canó. Scherzer got help from the Tigers' offense early, as Miguel Cabrera hit an opposite-field home run in the first inning to put the Tigers in front, 2–0. RBIs from both Cabrera and Víctor Martínez knocked Freddy García out of the game in the sixth inning. Granderson and Swisher hit home runs for New York. In a non-save situation, José Valverde gave up two runs in the ninth inning. With two out and two runners on base, and one of the Yankees' most dangerous hitters (Robinson Canó) at the plate, Valverde retired him on a groundout to second, sending the teams to Detroit with the series tied at a game apiece.
Game 3, October 3 
|WP: Justin Verlander (1–0) LP: Rafael Soriano (0–1) Sv: José Valverde (1)
DET: Delmon Young (2)
In a rematch of Friday's game, Tigers ace Justin Verlander once again faced Yankees ace CC Sabathia. Verlander allowed two runs in the first inning—one by Curtis Granderson's RBI triple that scored Derek Jeter, and another by Alex Rodriguez's RBI groundout that scored Granderson. The Tigers got on the board when Ramón Santiago singled in Brandon Inge in the third inning. Then Miguel Cabrera grounded into double play but Austin Jackson scored to tie the game. Inge scored again on an RBI double by Santiago in the fifth inning, giving the Tigers the lead. Don Kelly scored on an RBI double by Jhonny Peralta in the sixth to increase Detroit's lead. After Alex Avila's sacrifice bunt, Sabathia was relieved by Rafael Soriano. The Yankees tied it back up with runs by Jorge Posada and Russell Martin on a Brett Gardner RBI double in the seventh. Detroit's Delmon Young hit a solo home run in the seventh to regain the lead. José Valverde recorded his 50th consecutive save in as many tries—including regular season—for the Tigers win, striking out Derek Jeter with the tying run on second and go-ahead run on first to end the game.
Game 4, October 4 
|WP: A. J. Burnett (1–0) LP: Rick Porcello (0–1)
DET: Víctor Martínez (1)
With their backs against the wall, the Yankees relied on A. J. Burnett to even the series. Burnett, who was assigned to the bullpen in the Division Series due to inconsistency, re-took the starting role thanks to the suspension in Game 1. Burnett was almost to be relieved by Cory Wade in the bottom of the first inning after issuing a two-out walk to Víctor Martínez that loaded the bases, but Curtis Granderson's run-saving catch helped Burnett escaped the jam unharmed. Derek Jeter's two-run double in the third put the Yankees on board, but Víctor Martínez's solo homer in the bottom of the fourth cut the Yankees' lead to one. Granderson's RBI double and Alex Rodriguez's sacrifice fly in the fifth increased the lead to three. Burnett was relieved after Don Kelly's two-out single in the bottom of the sixth, and he gave the Yankees what they were hoping for—tossing 5 2⁄3 innings, allowing four hits, one earned run, and four walks while striking out three. Later Granderson's second run-saving catch of the day ended the sixth inning for Burnett and the Yankees.
The Yankees' offense erupted in the top of the eighth. Three struggling Yankees hitters—Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher—hit consecutive singles to start the eighth inning. A balk by the Tigers' reliever Al Alburquerque and an RBI single by pinch-hitter Jesus Montero brought in two more runs for the Yankees. Russell Martin was walked to load the bases again, followed by Brett Gardner's RBI single for another run. The next two batters—Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson—were both struck out, but Jesus Montero scored on a wild pitch by the Tigers' reliever Daniel Schlereth during Granderson's at-bat. Robinson Canó singled in two more runs to increase the lead to 10–1. The six-run rally was more than enough for the Yankees, as the Yankees' relievers—Rafael Soriano, Phil Hughes, and Boone Logan—held the Tigers hitless in the remaining 3 1⁄3 innings while striking out six.
Game 5, October 6 
|WP: Doug Fister (1–1) LP: Iván Nova (1–1) Sv: José Valverde (2)
DET: Don Kelly (1), Delmon Young (3)
NYY: Robinson Canó (2)
Game 5 was a rematch of the two pitchers of record in Game 1—Iván Nova and Doug Fister. Despite the fans setting another Yankee Stadium record with 50,960 in attendance, the Tigers eliminated the Yankees with a 3–2 win. Back–to–back homers by Don Kelly and Delmon Young early in the first inning put Detroit on top. Young's homer was his third, a Tigers record in a playoff series. Iván Nova did not last long, as he was pulled after the second inning with forearm tightness. The Tigers made it 3–0 in the top of the fifth when Víctor Martínez singled off CC Sabathia to drive in Austin Jackson. In the bottom of the fifth the Yankees finally scored on a Robinson Canó solo homer, and got another run in the seventh when Mark Teixeira walked with the bases loaded to score Derek Jeter. However, Joaquín Benoit managed to strike out Nick Swisher with the bases still loaded, ending the threat. José Valverde closed the door when he struck out Alex Rodriguez in the ninth, earning his 51st straight save of the combined 2011 season and postseason.
The Tigers became only the third team to beat the Yankees in consecutive post-season series meetings; previously the 1921–22 New York Giants and the 2002 and 2005 Angels were able to beat the Yankees in consecutive playoff series meetings. This was also the first time since 2007 the Yankees were eliminated at home.
Composite box 
|New York Yankees||3||0||2||0||4||6||3||8||2||28||45||1|
|Total attendance: 239,604 Average attendance: 47,920|
Texas vs. Tampa Bay 
Game 1, September 30 
|WP: Matt Moore (1–0) LP: C. J. Wilson (0–1)
TB: Johnny Damon (1), Kelly Shoppach 2 (2)
Rookie Matt Moore started Game 1 for the Rays, his second Major League start and fourth appearance since his September 12 promotion from Triple-A. Moore gave the Rays seven strong innings—allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six. Johnny Damon's two-run homer in the second inning and Kelly Shoppach's two homers gave Moore enough support while the Rangers' offense was shut down by the Rays' pitching.
Game 2, October 1 
|WP: Derek Holland (1–0) LP: James Shields (0–1) Sv: Neftalí Feliz (1)
TB: Matt Joyce (1), Evan Longoria (1)
TEX: Mitch Moreland (1)
The Rays struck first on Kelly Shoppach's bases-loaded walk in the first inning and Matt Joyce's two-run home run in the fourth. However, the Rays' starter James Shields ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth. After Elvis Andrus' hit-by-pitch and consecutive singles by Josh Hamilton and Michael Young to load the bases, Shields again hit Adrián Beltré and surrendered a two-run single to Mike Napoli. The next two batters, Nelson Cruz and David Murphy were both struck out, but Murphy advanced to first base on an uncaught third strike thanks to a wild pitch earlier to advance the runners. Beltré also scored on that play. Mitch Moreland followed up with an RBI groundout to score Napoli. The five-run fourth gave the Rangers a 5–3 lead over the Rays.
The Rangers' starter Derek Holland put another zero on the scoreboard before handing the game to the bullpen. The Rangers continued to score on Ian Kinsler's two-run double in the sixth. Evan Longoria came up with a three-run homer in the seventh to bring the Rays within a run. Mitch Moreland answered with a solo homer in the eighth to increase the lead to two. Neftalí Feliz pitched a scoreless ninth to record the save.
Game 3, October 3 
|WP: Colby Lewis (1–0) LP: David Price (0–1) Sv: Neftalí Feliz (2)
TEX: Mike Napoli (1)
TB: Desmond Jennings 2 (2)
A Desmond Jennings home run in the fourth gave the Rays an early lead. David Price, winless against the Rangers in his Major League career, held Texas without a run for six innings before giving up a Mike Napoli two-run homer after Adrián Beltré singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Josh Hamilton later hit a two-RBI single off reliever J. P. Howell to put Texas ahead 4–1. Later in the bottom half Sean Rodriguez hit an RBI ground out to score Johnny Damon and cut Texas's lead to two. In the bottom of the eighth Jennings cut the deficit to one on his second solo home run of the game; however, the Rays' comeback attempt was put to rest on a double play grounder by Kelly Shoppach in the ninth.
Game 4, October 4 
|WP: Matt Harrison (1–0) LP: Jeremy Hellickson (0–1) Sv: Neftalí Feliz (3)
TEX: Ian Kinsler (1), Adrián Beltré 3 (3)
The Rangers struck first with an Ian Kinsler home run off Jeremy Hellickson in the first inning. Three homers by Adrián Beltré off Hellickson in the second and fourth, and off Matt Moore in the seventh gave Texas the much-needed cushion. The Rays tried to come back when Matt Joyce doubled in the second and scored Sean Rodriguez in a plate collision with Mike Napoli. Later Rodriguez also scored in the fourth and ninth off Casey Kotchman RBI singles, but the game ended after Joyce popped out in foul territory to Beltré and Desmond Jennings grounded into a force out. Beltré became the sixth player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a single postseason game, joined Babe Ruth (1926 and 1928 World Series), Bob Robertson (1971 NLCS), Reggie Jackson (1977 World Series), George Brett (1978 ALCS), and Adam Kennedy (2002 ALCS).
With the win, the Rangers advanced to their second straight ALCS. This also marked the Rangers' fifth straight postseason win at Tropicana Field.
Composite box 
|Tampa Bay Rays||1||4||3||4||2||0||4||1||2||21||33||0|
|Total attendance: 162,976 Average attendance: 40,744|
- Reynolds, Mike (September 29, 2011). "TBS Sets Schedule For First Four Days Of MLB Postseason Coverage". Multichannel News. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Duncan, Travis (July 27, 2011). "MLB to move up 2011 World Series". Digital Sports Daily. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Newman, Mark (August 10, 2011). "MLB announces 2011 postseason schedule". MLB.com. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Beck, Jason (September 17, 2011). "Fister leads the way as Tigers clinch Central". MLB.com. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Taube, Aaron (September 21, 2011). "Posada's clutch hit delivers AL East title". MLB.com. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Sullivan, T.R. (September 23, 2011). "Rangers claim second straight AL West title". MLB.com. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Chastain, Bill (September 29, 2011). "Rays rally from seven down, win Wild Card". MLB.com. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- "Boxscore:Detroit vs. NY Yankees - September 30, 2011". MLB.com. September 30, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- "Boxscore:Detroit vs. NY Yankees - October 2, 2011". MLB.com. October 2, 2011. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
- "Boxscore:NY Yankees vs. Detroit - October 3, 2011". MLB.com. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Boxscore:NY Yankees vs. Detroit - October 4, 2011". MLB.com. October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
- "Boxscore:Detroit vs. NY Yankees - October 6, 2011". MLB.com. October 6, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- "Boxscore:Tampa Bay vs. Texas - September 30, 2011". MLB.com. September 30, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- "Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers - Box Score - October 01, 2011". ESPN. October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- "Boxscore:Texas vs. Tampa Bay - October 3, 2011". MLB.com. October 3, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- "Boxscore:Texas vs. Tampa Bay - October 4, 2011". MLB.com. October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- The contest was suspended under MLB Rule 4.10 Comment, which states that postseason games which have started and are then called may not be declared "no game," and any activity discarded, as in Rule 4.10(e). Instead, this rule stipulates that all postseason games which are called may be considered suspended and resumed from the point of interruption at a future date, as in Rule 4.12.
- Associated Press (October 6, 2011). "Tigers start early then hold off Yankees in decisive Game 5 of ALDS". ESPNNewYork.com. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
- Topkin, Marc (2011-09-29). "Rookie Matt Moore to start opener, Shields in Game 2". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2011-09-29.