Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Cliff Lee turned in a complete game and the Texas Rangers advanced to their first AL Championship Series in franchise history with a 5-1 victory over Tampa Bay in a decisive game five Tuesday night.
Acquired from Seattle in July, the lefty needed 120 pitches - 90 thrown for strikes - to get the Rangers one step closer to the AL pennant and a possible trip to the World Series. Lee allowed just six hits and walked none. Finishing strong, Lee retired the final nine batters he faced and struck out 11 Rays.
Texas built their lead one run at a time, putting up single runs in the 1st, 4th and 6th inning. Ian Kinsler's two-run homer in the top of the 9th sent Lee back to the mound for the final three outs with a comfortable lead and an abundance of confidence. He plowed through the heart of the Rays' order, striking out Evan Longoria, inducing a ground-out from Carlos Pena and getting B.J. Upton on a short pop-up to end the game.
The Rangers will host the NY Yankees on Friday night, October 15, for game one of the best-of-seven championship series. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 pm ET in Arlington, Texas.
Philadelphia and San Francisco open the National League equivalent on Saturday, October 16.