The Texas Rangers turn to C.J. Wilson this afternoon when they try to take a commanding two games to none lead against the Tampa Bay Rays in the best-of-five American League Division Series at Tropicana Field.
In Wednesday’s Game 1, Cliff Lee struck out 10 in seven masterful innings, and Texas got home runs from Nelson Cruz and Bengie Molina on its way to a 5-1 win.
The AL West-champion Rangers, who are back in the postseason for the first time since 1999, snapped a nine-game postseason losing streak and claimed just their second playoff win in franchise history.
“I guess whatever happens from this point on will be history in Texas Rangers folklore,” manager Ron Washington said. “I’m just happy my guys were relaxed and they were able to go out there and play the type of game that we know we can play.”[pullquote quote=”I guess whatever happens from this point on will be history in Texas Rangers folklore” credit=”Ron Washington”]
Texas, the only team in the majors to never win a postseason series, has lost all three playoff series it has contested, but took a big step toward its first victory thanks to Lee (1-0), who gave up just one run on five hits and did not walk a batter.
[photogallerylink id=31702 align=left]”He’s one of the best pitchers in the game, and he’s a lot of fun to catch, man,” said Molina. “He’s unbelievable. He controls the fastball so well. He throws the cutter wherever he wants to, outside, inside. He put the ball up whenever he wants to. He throws that curveball. He’s as good as anybody.”
Lee got support from his offense, which plated five runs (four earned) off Tampa Bay ace David Price. Price (0-1) gave up nine hits in 6 2/3 innings, though did not walk a batter and struck out eight.
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