There's a first time for everything, and this is a first for the Texas Rangers. They have won a postseason series for the first time in their 50-year franchise history.
Thanks to another Cliff Lee masterpiece, the Rangers are going
to the American League Championship Series against the New York
Lee twirled a six-hitter, striking out 11 as the Rangers closed
out the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 in the decisive fifth game of the AL
Division Series. Twice Lee beat Rays ace David Price in this
The road team won every game in this series, a first in major
The Rangers scored the go-ahead run in the fourth when Nelson
Cruz doubled. Cruz then stole third base and came home on a
throwing error by Rays catcher Nelson Shoppach (SHAH'-pahk). A pair
of Rangers runners scored from second base on infield grounders --
thanks to heads-up baserunning by Elvis Andrus and Vladimir
Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning as insurance
for Texas, which had been the only active major league franchise
that hadn't won a playoff series. The Rangers franchise dates back
to 1961 to the old Washington Senators.
Lee improved to 6-0 in seven career postseason starts. He
lowered his career postseason earned run average to 1.44.
The Rangers not only advance, they will have the home field edge
when the ALCS on Friday in Texas. The Rangers' previous three
playoff appearances ended with first-round losses to New York, in
1996, 1998 and 1999.
The teams split eight games during the regular season, with the
Rangers winning the final four.
The Rangers will send out C.J. Wilson on Friday night against
21-game winner CC Sabathia for the Yankees, the AL wild card.