ARLINGTON TX - OCTOBER 15: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees celebrates after scoring in the eight inning with manager Joe Girardi Derek Jeter #2 and Nick Swisher #33 against the Texas Rangers in Game One of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 15 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

ALCS Game 1: Yankees Come All The Way Back, Clip Rangers 6-5

Seven consecutive batters reached base in a five-run eighth inning against C.J. Wilson and the Rangers bullpen as the Yankees stormed back from an early 5-0 deficit to take a 6-5 win in Game 1 of the ALCS. Check out more at Lone Star Ball and Pinstripe Alley.

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CJ Wilson Terrific In ALCS Opener, But Ranger Bullpen Fails In 6-5 Loss To Yankees

Playing their first League Championship Series game in franchise history, the Rangers got out to exactly the start they wanted to. They just weren't able to finish it off.

Seven consecutive batters reached base in a five-run eighth inning against C.J. Wilson and the Rangers bullpen as the Yankees stormed back from an early 5-0 deficit to take a 6-5 win in Game 1 of the ALCS.

The Yankees had reason to be confident coming into the game, as they were set to hand the ball to ace CC Sabathia, while the Rangers were handing it to the lesser-known Wilson. It was Wilson, though, who turned in the better start, as Sabathia wasn't right from the beginning.

The Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Sabathia before he'd even recorded an out. Elvis Andrus led off the game with a walk, and advanced to third on a single by Michael Young. That brought Josh Hamilton to the plate, and Hamilton ripped an 0-2 hanging breaking ball to right field for a home run. The ball very narrowly cleared the fence, but still counted as Hamilton's first career playoff home run.

The Rangers would threaten to add more in the inning, as well, when they loaded the bases with two outs. Sabathia then uncorked a high fastball against Jorge Cantu that sailed all the way to the backstop, but a fortunate ricochet returned the ball to Jorge Posada, who threw to Sabathia at home just in time to tag the sliding Nelson Cruz. That tag killed a threat, and kept the game 3-0.

It would remain that way into the fourth, as Wilson pitched well early and worked out of a couple jams. In the bottom of the fourth, Young came to the plate with two on and two out and drilled an opposite-field double that split the right-center gap. That double expanded the Ranger lead to 5-0, and the fourth would be the last inning of Sabathia's start.

But the Yankees' middle relief held. Joba Chamberlain and Dustin Moseley combined for three innings of scoreless relief, preventing the game from getting any worse. And the Yankees were able to get on the board in the top of the seventh, when Robinson Cano tucked a fly ball inside the right field foul pole for a solo home run. It was the first run charged to Wilson, but it would not be the last.

The Yankees really came alive in the top of the eighth. Wilson was chased from the game when Brett Gardner led off with an infield single and Derek Jeter followed with an RBI double. Wilson departed to a standing ovation and was replaced by lefty Darren Oliver, but Oliver walked the two batters he faced, loading the bases with nobody out.

Concerned, Ron Washington pulled Oliver in favor of righty specialist Darren O'Day. But O'Day's first pitch to Alex Rodriguez was ripped right by Young at third base for a two-run single. It was a ball Young probably should have been able to knock down, but it was hit sharply and it took a hard bounce, and it narrowed the game to 5-4.

Washington then replaced O'Day with lefty Clay Rapada, but Rapada's first pitch was ripped into center by Robinson Cano. That single tied the game, and when Josh Hamilton bobbled the ball, Rodriguez was able to advance to third base. The Yankees had men on the corners and nobody out in a game that was suddenly 5-5.

Washington would come out to replace Rapada with young lefty Derek Holland - his fifth pitcher of the inning, tying an ALCS record. Holland got ahead of Marcus Thames, but Thames was able to muscle a soft line drive into left field despite breaking his bat. That single put the Yankees in the lead by one, and though Holland retired the next three batters he faced, the damage had been done, and the Yankees had gotten in front.

Stunned, the Rangers attempted to battle back, but their attempts were thwarted. In the bottom of the eighth, Ian Kinsler led off with a walk but was then picked off by Kerry Wood. And in the ninth, trying to rally against Mariano Rivera, Mitch Moreland led off with a groundball single into center and advanced to second on a bunt, but he was stranded in scoring position by a strikeout and a groundout. Wood and Rivera protected the lead, and sealed a dramatic, thrilling win in Game 1.

It was an excellent win for the Yankees and a devastating loss for the Rangers, who now have to get a solid start out of Game 2 starter Colby Lewis if they want to avoid dropping the first two games of the series at home. Lewis goes up against Phil Hughes and the Yankees at 4:07pm ET Saturday afternoon. It's a chance for the Rangers to put this all behind them, but it's also a chance for the Yankees to build on what they were able to do and take a commanding lead back to New York.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 1: Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano Key Huge Yankee Rally

The Rangers just went through the eighth inning from hell. As we already mentioned, C.J. Wilson was pulled with a man on second and nobody out, having allowed an RBI double. Unfortunately for him and unfortunately for Texas, things were only getting started. To review:

Holland would slam the door after that, retiring the final three hitters he faced. However, seven consecutive Yankees reached base, scoring five runs and taking an astonishing 6-5 lead. The five pitchers used by Ron Washington tied an ALCS all-time record for pitchers used in an inning.

What was quite recently a 5-0 near-blowout is now a late one-run deficit, and the Rangers are now in a position where they need to score a run here in the eighth if they don't want to go up against Mariano Rivera while trailing.

Kerry Wood is coming out of the Yankee bullpen to start the bottom half.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 1: C.J. Wilson Pulled In Eighth After Derek Jeter Double

Robinson Cano's solo home run in the seventh was all the action we'd see in the inning, as the next six batters all got out. That brought us to the top of the eighth, with C.J. WIlson remaining on the mound for the Rangers. He got Brett Gardner to hit a slow roller to first to lead off, but Gardner sprinted down the baseline and beat Wilson - who was covering - to the bag.

With one on and none out, the Yankees saw an opening, and Derek Jeter followed by ripping a grounder down the third base line and into the corner. Jeter wound up on second, and Gardner came all the way around to score and make it a 5-2 game.

That double brought Ron Washington out of the dugout and C.J. Wilson out of the game. Working in relief is lefty Darren Oliver. Wilson's line:

7+ innings
6 hits
2 runs
2 walks
4 strikeouts
104 pitches (68 strikes)

The Yankees aren't on the brink, but they're back in the game.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 1: Robinson Cano Home Run Gets Yankees On The Board

It's something. Down 5-0 coming into the top of the seventh, the Yankees sent Robinson Cano to the plate to lead off, and Cano was just barely able to tuck a line drive to right field just inside of the foul pole. It was similar to Josh Hamilton's earlier blast, only deeper, and the home run has got the Yankees on the board.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 1: Michael Young Adds Insurance With Two-Run Double

The theme on the broadcast so far has been that the Rangers could regret not cashing in all their opportunities. They didn't cash in a big opportunity in the first, and they didn't cash in another opportunity in the third. By not cashing in, they were letting the Yankees hang around, and you don't want to let the Yankees hang around.

Maybe it should be reversed. The Yankees blew an opportunity in the third. In the top of the fourth, they blew another opportunity, as C.J. Wilson put two runners on before getting Jorge Posada to line out.

By not scoring, the Yankees left it a 3-0 game, and then the Rangers only added to their lead in the bottom half against CC Sabathia. Matt Treanor sliced a single into shallow center field, and Elvis Andrus later dropped another single just behind Robinson Cano. With two on and two out, Michael Young stepped in, and he ripped a 1-1 change into right-center field, splitting the gap for a two-run double.

The hit expanded the Rangers' lead to 5-0, and Sabathia has thrown 93 pitches. Joba Chamberlain was warming up in the bullpen, and he could come in to start the fifth.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 1: Josh Hamilton Three-Run Homer Gets Things Started Early

The top of the first inning proved to be little problem for C.J. Wilson, as he needed just 12 pitches to get Derek Jeter to ground out, Nick Swisher to strike out, and Mark Teixeira to ground out. Wilson got off to a quick start in front of a loud, vocal crowd, and the 1-2-3 should help calm any nerves that might've been an issue coming in.

CC Sabathia's first inning has gone a little different. First, he fell behind Elvis Andrus and walked him on five pitches. Next, he fell behind against Michael Young and served up a 3-1 single that put runners on the corners. He then managed to get ahead of Josh Hamilton 0-2 - the only lefty in the Texas lineup tonight - but he let a slider get a bit too much air and a bit too much plate, and Hamilton ripped it for a line drive to deep right that just barely cleared the wall. The three-run homer gave the Rangers a big early lead, and while it wasn't a mammoth blast by any means, it's a homer that leaves both this stadium and New York's, and it's a hell of a confidence boost. For Hamilton, for Wilson, and for the rest of the team.

Sabathia's still working in the first, and he's already well behind.

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