Texas can't hold 'em in Game 1 of ALCS

Reporting from Arlington, Texas -- The Yankees did their own version of the Texas two-step Friday, something that looked more like a stomping-out of pests.

They trampled all over the American League Championship Series hopes of the Rangers with a stunning 6-5 victory, scoring five runs in a wild eighth inning to leave the Texas franchise still without a home postseason victory.

"I don't know if we gave it away," Rangers Manager Ron Washington said. "We just didn't execute. When you face a team like the Yankees, you have to execute. I guess in a sense it got away from us.

"I told them to keep their heads up. We live to fight again tomorrow."

Game 2 is Saturday with the Rangers' Colby Lewis facing Phil Hughes, but it can't have much more drama.

While the Rangers used an ALCS record-tying five pitchers in the eighth inning — all of whom contributed to the meltdown — the Yankees used five pitchers for the entire game. Their bullpen gave up no runs in five innings, capped by another save for ageless Mariano Rivera, his record 42nd in the postseason.

It was also the third comeback victory in this postseason for the Yankees, who led all of baseball with 48 during the regular season.

"Our guys grind out good at-bats," Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. "We have guys who have come up with some really big hits this year. Our lineup is deep. When you keep putting people on base, you're going to get results."

The Yankees' eighth inning started innocently enough against Rangers starter C.J. Wilson, who deserved better than the final outcome, as Brett Gardner legged out an infield single and Derek Jeter knocked him in with a double.

Wilson left still leading, 5-2. Darren Oliver relieved and walked the bases loaded. Two more runs scored when Alex Rodriguez singled against reliever Darren O'Day, which brought on Clay Rapada to pitch to Robinson Cano. He singled to tie the score, which brought on Derek Holland. He was the fifth pitcher of the inning, tying a championship series record.

Holland gave the Yankees a 6-5 lead on Marcus Thames' single before finally getting the last out.

"We have a veteran clubhouse that knows how to react to whatever situation we're in," Girardi said. "Some might feel we were fortunate to come out with a win, but I thought our team played hard."

By the time it was over, the Rangers' early heroics and the starting effort from Wilson were all but forgotten.

Wilson was handed a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Josh Hamilton deposited a pitch from CC Sabathia, pitching on nine days' rest, over the right-field wall.

The Rangers made it 5-0 on Michael Young's two-run double in the fourth — Sabathia's last inning — and Wilson was flying along with a shutout before giving up Cano's solo homer in the seventh.

And then came the fateful eighth inning.


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