Texas got its first home postseason victory in franchise history (1-7), and also snapped a 10-game playoff losing streak against New York. The Rangers appeared ready to get the landmark win in Game 1 on Friday, but they gave up five runs in the eighth inning as the Yankees took a stunning 6-5 win.
On Saturday, the Rangers again built up a big lead, going ahead 7-1 after five innings against Yankees starter Phil Hughes. But their bullpen didn’t implode this time, following Colby Lewis (1-0) with 3 1/3 scoreless innings to seal the win
“I think we just knew what we needed to do,” Lewis said. “We had two games here at home and we needed — after last night, we just needed to come out today and split it and go back to their place, plain and simple.”
Lewis limited the Yankees to two runs on six hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings, with six strikeouts. He was supported by a Texas offense that got to Hughes (1-1) for seven runs and 10 hits in only four-plus innings.
“Our starters have not pitched well so far,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. “Our starters pitched extremely well and everyone was giddy about them the last series. I don’t ever get too involved in snapshot pictures because those can be dangerous. I believe in our guys and I believe that they will pitch well as we continue forward here.”
The best-of-seven matchup now moves to the Bronx, with Game 3 set for Monday, and Texas likely has the edge with Cliff Lee on the mound against Andy Pettitte. While Pettitte is the all-time leader in postseason wins, Lee is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA in seven career playoff starts, which includes a complete game victory at Yankee Stadium in last season’s World Series for the Phillies.
Texas built its lead by scoring in each of the first three innings, and got its first-inning run in an unconventional way. Leadoff batter Elvis Andrus reached when he hit a chopper that deflected off Hughes’ glove, then advanced when catcher Jorge Posada didn’t make a clean catch on a pitch. Posada made a strong throw to second, but Andrus was called safe on the close play, then stole third with one out. After Josh Hamilton walked, Hughes fanned Vladimir Guerrero.
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