David Murphy Leads Way As Rangers Blast Phil Hughes, Beat Yankees 7-2 To Even Up ALCS

An early 5-0 lead wasn't enough for the Rangers in Game 1 of the ALCS, as the Yankees were able to come all the way back and claim a devastating victory.

Taking an early 5-0 lead worked out a little better in Game 2.

The Rangers ripped Phil Hughes for six extra-base hits and seven runs in four-plus innings, and held on the rest of the way for a 7-2 win over the Yankees that evened up the series at one game apiece as it heads east to New York.

The righty Hughes was tasked with turning in a better start than CC Sabathia did on Friday, while, for the Rangers, Colby Lewis was sent to the hill with a mission to keep the Yankees from going up early. Lewis was able to do his job. Hughes couldn't.

The Rangers were able to take the lead in the bottom of the first with some of the aggressive baserunning that helped them in the ALDS against the Rays. With runners on the corners and two outs, Josh Hamilton attempted to steal second base. As Jorge Posada threw down, Elvis Andrus - who was standing on third - broke for home, and Posada wasn't able to catch the return throw in time to apply a tag. Once again, Andrus' legs put the Rangers on top.

And they weren't done. The next inning, David Murphy stepped up and delivered a towering solo home run to right field. Later on, following consecutive two-out singles, Michael Young slapped a groundball double down the first base line to score another run, putting the Rangers up 3-0.

And the third inning only saw additional piling on, as Nelson Cruz, Murphy, and Bengie Molina all hit doubles, the latter two driving in runs. After three, it was 5-0 Texas, and it became a matter of keeping the Yankees at bay.

Lewis and the bullpen were able to do it. Lance Berkman singled home a run in the fourth, but that's where the damage stopped, and the Rangers came up with more insurance in the fifth, when Ian Kinsler drilled an RBI triple past a diving Nick Swisher, and Mitch Moreland later brought him home on a grounder to left.

Up 7-1, Lewis and the Ranger bullpen bent, but they didn't break. Lewis allowed a solo homer to Robinson Cano in the sixth that narrowed the score to 7-2, and he departed with two men on base, but reliever Clay Rapada escaped the jam with a big strikeout. In the seventh, Alexi Ogando worked out of another two-runner jam, and in the eighth, Darren Oliver stranded a runner in scoring position.

That took us to the ninth, where Neftali Feliz worked around two walks for the third consecutive scoreless frame. By sealing the deal, Feliz gave the Rangers a series-tying win, which doubled as their first home playoff win in franchise history.

The ALCS is now off for New York, to resume Monday night. The Rangers will come in with the advantage, handing the ball to ace Cliff Lee, while the Yankees will counter with Andy Pettitte.

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