Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers pitches against the New York Yankees.
NICK LAHAM STF
Neftali Feliz of the Texas Rangers pitches against the New York Yankees.

Lee strikes out 13 to put Texas in series lead

Texas took an 8-0 victory over the New York Yankees to give the Rangers the lead in the American League Championship Series.

Cliff Lee delivered another gem, striking out 13 to lead Texas to an 8-0 victory over the New York Yankees that gave the Rangers the lead in baseball's American League Championship Series.

Lee surrendered just two hits in eight innings as the Rangers took a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven series that will send one team to the World Series.

Josh Hamilton hit an early two-run homer off Yankees starter Andy Pettitte and sparked a six-run burst in the ninth inning with a lead-off double.

Lee became the first pitcher with 10 or more strikeouts three times in one postseason. He improved to 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight postseason starts.

Three of those victories have come against the Yankees, including two for Philadelphia in last year's World Series won by New York.

Perhaps mindful of that defeat with the Phillies, Lee did not go overboard with his celebrations.

"We still have some work to do here," he said. "A lot of fun to come into New York and get this first one. Hopefully we can come out here tomorrow and pick up where we left off."

The Yankees, who claimed their 27th World Series crown last season, now face a tough task.

Unless they can win three straight games they could face Lee again in Texas in a decisive game seven.

"I don't think we're in trouble," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We're down 2-1, we're not down 3-0. It's frustrating we've lost two games in a row, but we've lost two games in a row a lot of times before and come back."

Game four is on Tuesday in New York, where the Yankees say struggling AJ Burnett will start. Texas will give the ball to Tommy Hunter for his first career start at Yankee Stadium.

Pettitte, seeking a 20th postseason victory, did what he could to match Lee.

But Hamilton pounced on a first-inning breaking ball from Pettitte and drove it deep to right for his second home run of the series.

"At the time I didn't think it was going to win the ballgame," Pettitte said. "I kept thinking we would get a guy on and (Lee) would make a mistake and someone would pop it out. It's what you come to expect here.

"Cliff was great tonight to say the least," Pettitte added. "Outstanding. You can't say enough about what he did, in this ballpark, it was impressive."

Lee made the two-run advantage stand up through eight innings, and Texas poured it on in the ninth.

Nelson Cruz and Bengie Molina singled in runs and Mitch Moreland's single scored two runners.

Elvis Andrus doubled over Nick Swisher's head in right field to make it 7-0, and a wild pitch from Yankees reliever Sergio Mitre allowed the sixth run of the inning to score.

Young Rangers closer Neftali Feliz added two strikeouts of his own as he sealed the victory in the bottom of the ninth. By then, many of the crowd of 49,840 were streaming out the exits.

The 15 total strikeouts were one short of a playoff record for Yankees batters.

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and the rest of the Yankees could find no solution to the array of fast balls, curves and sliders Lee put in the strike zone. He threw 122 pitches, 82 for strikes.

Lee struck out two Yankees in each inning from the second through fifth and allowed singles in the fifth and sixth.

He did not allow a baserunner until Mark Teixeira walked with two outs in the fourth inning, and the Yankees first hit didn't come until the fifth.

"I'll tell you, what we saw tonight is what we've been seeing," the Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The guy can pitch. ... He can do whatever you have to do."

 

 

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 UAE’s Charlie Sargent tries to avoid a tackle by Singapore team members during the one-off Division 1 Test at The Sevens. The Singapore-born winger was making his debut. Sarah Dea / The National

Asian Five Nations: UAE go into rebuilding mode in Division 2

With a new look squad, including five emerging Emirati players, the UAE will hope to restructure and get into the winning habit in more forgiving climes when they drop a level in the revamped competition next season.

 Chelsea players argue with Atletico Madrid during their scoreless draw in the Champions League semi-final first leg match at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid, Spain on Tuesday. Gerard Julien / AFP / April 22, 2014

In pictures: Chelsea lock horns with Atletico in scoreless Champions League draw

Chelsea held Atletico Madrid scoreless at home on Tuesday as the two will head to Stamford Bridge for a winner-take-all second leg.

 Chris Gayle has been the most feared batsman in the Royal Challengers Bangalore line-up since he joined the team in 2011. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

Parthiv continues to fill Gayle’s big shoes for Bangalore

Indian wicketkeeper-batsman will continue to open the innings for Royal Challengers with the West Indian still nursing his bad back, writes Paul Radley.

 Ian Poulter is fifth on the points list to make the cut in a 12-man European side for the Ryder Cup. Paul Lakatos / AFP

Ian Poulter sees momentum in Europe’s squad-building, with Ryder

Lot of players are striking well to stay in contention for the 12 spots in the team, but there is still lot of time before September, he warns.

 Erykan Bityutsky pulls a 4x4 car during the final day of the UAE Strongman Competition in Dubai. Delores Johnson / The National

UAE Strongman Competition takes weight training to a whole new scale

Two-day competition in Dubai attracts men and women from across the Emirates and proves it takes more than just bulky muscles to win, writes Ali Khaled.

 Benfica's Oscar Cardozo, from Paraguay, lifts the trophy celebrating after beating Olhanense on Sunday at Estadio da Luz. Benfica's 2-0 clinched them the Portuguese Primeira Liga championship. They will play Juventus in the the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday April 24. Francisco Seco / AP / April 20, 2014

Ambitious Benfica ready for Juventus while Sevilla and Valencia set to battle in Europa last-four

Benfica, fresh off clinching their 33rd Portuguese title, are looking to keep Juventus from reaching the Europa League final - which will be played in Turin - while the other semi-final sees La Liga rivals Sevilla and Valencia clash.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National