Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rangers Even Series, Beat Yanks, 7-2; Giants Take Game One in Philly, 4-3

Players of the Day for Saturday, October 16, 2010

American League

After blowing a 5-0 lead and giving away game one on Friday, the Texas Rangers came back Saturday to take game two of the ALCS with a no-doubt-about-it, 7-2 win over the Yankees.

Starter Phil Hughes was banged around for 10 hits and all seven runs over four innings of work, finally excused after allowing a Nelson Cruz double and a triple by Ian Kinsler to lead off the 5th inning.

Left fielder David Murphy did the most damage to Hughes, however, whacking a solo homer in the second inning and doubling in a run and scoring in the 3rd. Murphy's two hits in four at-bats both came against Hughes and proved the catalyst for a Texas win.

Evening the series at a game apiece, the Rangers head to New York for game three on Monday, with a scheduled 8:07 pm ET start time. Cliff Lee goes for the Rangers against the Yankees' Andy Pettitte.

Pitching is a heightened concern for the Yankees. Ace C.C. Sabathia, like Hughes, only lasted four innings, though due to his short stint may be available for game four. Sabathia is usually lights out at Yankee Stadium, though A.J. Burnett is still scheduled to go on Tuesday.

National League

With Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum sharing the mound, game one of the NLCS was supposed to be all about pitching, and while there was plenty of that from the pair of aces, it was Cody Ross' two solo home runs which provided cover for Lincecum and a 4-3 win for the Giants.

Ross got the first hit off Halladay of the game, coming with one out in the 3rd inning, blasting a shot to left center. Carlos Ruiz answered in the bottom of the frame with his own sol homer off Lincecum to tie the game.

Ross rode another ball out to left field in the 5th inning, putting the Giants ahead 2-1, and they added two more in the 6th for a 4-1 lead. Jayson Werth got the Phillies back to within one with a two-run bomb to right in the bottom of the 6th, but Lincecum got through the 7th without further damage and then handed the ball to the Giants' bullpen.

Javier Lopez got the first two outs in the 8th and Brian Wilson came on to finish. After giving up a single to Werth, he fanned Jimmy Rollins to end the inning. In the 9th, Wilson got Raul Ibanez looking at strike three, then grazed Ruiz with a pitch, but got Ross Gload and Shane Victorino swinging to end the game and pick up his first post-season save. Lincecum got the win; Halladay was saddled with the loss.

Game two starts Sunday night at 8:19 pm ET at Philly. Jonathan Sanchez faces the Phillies' Roy Oswalt.

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