NEW YORK - OCTOBER 20: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees celebrates after he forced Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers to ground into a double play to end the top of the fifth inning of Game Five of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium on October 20 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

ALCS Game 5: Yankees Get To Wilson Early, Cruise To 7-2 Win Over Rangers

Lacking his best stuff, CC Sabathia scattered 11 hits over six two-run innings, and the Yankees put an early hurting on C.J. Wilson in winning Game 5 of the ALCS over the Rangers, 7-2. The win moves the series to three games to two in the Rangers' favor, and sends both teams back to Texas. Check out more at Lone Star Ball and Pinstripe Alley.

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CC Sabathia Scatters 11 Hits As Yankees Stay Alive With Win Over Rangers In ALCS Game 5

Pushed to the brink of elimination with a 10-3 loss on Tuesday night, the Yankees knew they'd need everybody to come out and leave everything on the field in Wednesday's Game 5. They got what they wanted, and in so doing, they earned a return trip to Texas.

Lacking his best stuff, CC Sabathia scattered 11 hits over six two-run innings, and the Yankees put an early hurting on C.J. Wilson in winning Game 5 of the ALCS over the Rangers, 7-2. The win moves the series to three games to two in the Rangers' favor, and sends both teams back to Texas.

It was clear from the beginning that neither Sabathia nor Wilson was throwing his best stuff. Sabathia allowed two base hits in the first inning, and Wilson was having trouble commanding his pitches. The difference is that Sabathia was able to pitch around the baserunners, while Wilson was not.

Sabathia escaped potential jams in the first and second innings, and in the bottom of the second, the Yankees were able to get to a struggling Wilson to pull out ahead. After a pair of walks put two on, Jorge Posada drove in the first run of the game with a groundball single to left. Curtis Granderson then followed with a single of his own to right field, and two more runs would score on the play when Jeff Francoeur's throw to third base eluded third baseman Michael Young, and Wilson's subsequent throw home eluded Matt Treanor. The walks, hits, and throwing errors handed Sabathia a 3-0 lead going into the third.

And in the third, Sabathia would work around another runner in scoring position and keep the Rangers scoreless going into the bottom half, when the Yankees added two more against Wilson. Nick Swisher led off the third with a home run to left field, and two pitches later, Robinson Cano lifted a homer to right-center to give the Yankees back-to-back dingers. Those extended the lead to 5-0, and with Wilson on the ropes and Sabathia surviving, things looked pretty good for the hosts.

Sabathia worked around just another runner in scoring position in the fourth, and didn't allow his first run until the top of the fifth, when Rangers backstop Matt Treanor tucked a home run inside the left field foul pole. The Rangers would go on to put two more on base with one out and bring Josh Hamilton to the plate, threatening to pull themselves back into the game, but Sabathia was able to induce a double play off Hamilton's bat to end the inning and preserve the 5-1 score.

The Yankees would get the run back on a Lance Berkman sac fly in the bottom of the inning. Protecting a 6-1 lead in the sixth, Sabathia again got himself into trouble, loading the bases with one out, but Sabathia again wriggled his way out of it, allowing just one run on a groundout by Treanor. Mitch Moreland struck out looking on an inside slider to kill the rally.

From that point forward, it was smooth sailing for the Yankees, who would add a run in the eighth on a line drive solo homer by Curtis Granderson. Mariano Rivera slammed the door in the ninth, clinching the game.

Sabathia got the win for bending without breaking over six innings. The loss went to Wilson, who allowed six runs in five innings before coming out. Michael Kirkman made his playoff debut in relief of Wilson and threw two scoreless innings.

Worth noting is that Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz had to come out of the game in the fifth inning with tightness in his left hamstring. That hamstring has bothered him throughout the season and twice sent him to the disabled list, but the hope is that they got him out before the injury could get any worse. There's not yet any word whether he'll be available for Game 6.

Game 6 will be played Friday night, at 8:07pm ET. Phil Hughes will get the start for the Yankees, while Colby Lewis will try to pitch the Rangers into the World Series.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 5: Mariano Rivera Finishes Off Win In Ninth

For the fourth consecutive game of this ALCS, the last at bat didn't mean very much. The Yankees called on Mariano Rivera to protect a 7-2 ninth inning lead over the Rangers, and Rivera was able to do just that with little trouble, getting a grounder off the bat of Jeff Francoeur and a fly out off the bat of Matt Treanor.

Mitch Moreland followed with a hard-earned single the other way, but Elvis Andrus popped out in foul territory to end it.

The Rangers became the first team since the 1920 Dodgers to get 13+ hits and score fewer than three runs in a playoff game, and the ALCS is now 3-2 in Texas' favor. Game 6 is scheduled for Friday night back in Arlington, and will match Colby Lewis up against Phil Hughes.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 5: Curtis Granderson Home Run Adds To Lead

Behind 6-2, the Rangers weren't able to do much against Kerry Wood in the top of the eighth, going down 1-2-3. They were already up against it, facing improbable odds, but then Curtis Granderson came out in the bottom half and decided the Yankees could use another run anyway.

Facing reliever Alexi Ogando, Granderson came up with one out and none on and ripped a low line drive deep into right field. It hung up high enough to clear the wall, and the solo home run extended the Yankees lead to 7-2.

The Rangers will have Jeff Francoeur, Matt Treanor, and Mitch Moreland in the ninth, and they will need to score at least five runs.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 5: CC Sabathia Works Out Of Final Jam

CC Sabathia has been battling all game long, as he clearly didn't have his best stuff. And in no inning did he battle harder than the top of the sixth.

Armed with a 6-1 lead, Sabathia was able to strike out Vladimir Guerrero to lead off. But that's when things got hairy. David Murphy - in for the injured Nelson Cruz - ripped a single to right. Ian Kinsler followed by grounding a single up the middle. Jeff Francoeur then drilled a single into right to load the bases with only one out.

The Rangers had life, and Matt Treanor stepped up. Treanor had already hit a solo homer to give the Rangers their only run of the game the inning before. Against Treanor, Sabathia quickly got ahead 0-2, but then the count went full before Sabathia got the catcher to hit a groundball to third. Alex Rodriguez threw to first for the second out of the inning, and Murphy came in to score.

The situation then was second and third with two outs for Mitch Moreland. And this at bat - almost certainly the last at bat of Sabathia's game - was a long one. Sabathia threw eight pitches, and Moreland fouled off four of them before Sabathia came in with a surprise inside slider for a called strikeout. That strikeout ended the frame and preserved the score at 6-2.

Sabathia's pitch count stands at 112, and with Kerry Wood warm in the bullpen, he's probably through. His game:

6 innings
11 hits
2 runs
0 walks
7 strikeouts

Meanwhile, for the Rangers, Michael Kirkman is on in relief of C.J. Wilson in the bottom of the sixth. Wilson's outing:

5 innings
6 hits
6 runs
4 walks
2 strikeouts
93 pitches (48 strikes)

This is the first playoff appearance of the rookie Kirkman's career.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 5: Lance Berkman Drives Home Insurance Run

The Rangers gave away a good opportunity to fight back in the top of the fifth, when Josh Hamilton grounded into a double play with two on and one out. The Yankees came out in their half of the inning and made the visitors pay for their mistake.

Nick Swisher led off with a walk against C.J. Wilson. After a lineout, Alex Rodriguez then drilled a ground-rule double to left-center field to put two runners in scoring position, and Marcus Thames was issued an intentional walk to load the bases.

That brought Lance Berkman to the plate, and he put a charge into a fly ball to center. It didn't drop or clear the wall, but it was deep enough to go as a sac fly to score the Yankees' sixth run of the game.

It's 6-1 New York going into the top of the sixth.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 5: Matt Treanor Home Run Puts Texas On Board

C.J. Wilson gave the Rangers an important inning in the bottom of the fourth. After allowing a leadoff double and seeing that runner advance to third with one out, Wilson escaped without surrendering that sixth run, striking out Brett Gardner and getting Derek Jeter to ground out.

That brought us to the top of the fifth, with the score still 5-0 Yankees. And immediately, the Rangers went and got themselves on the board. After seeing his team fail to take advantage of opportunities in the first four innings, Matt Treanor led off the fifth by pulling a 1-0 inside fastball from CC Sabathia into the left field seats, just down the line.

The solo home run chips away a bit at the lead, and one remembers that the Rangers have been taking good swings against Sabathia the whole time.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 5: Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano Blast Back-To-Back Home Runs

For a stadium that was dead at first pitch, this one has certainly come alive in the last couple innings.

After the Yankees scored three off C.J. Wilson in the second and kept the Rangers scoreless in the top of the third, they came out swinging once more in the bottom half. Leading off against Wilson, Nick Swisher lifted an 0-1 inside fastball into the left field seats down the lone for a solo home run.

That put the Yankees up four. The next batter was Robinson Cano, and he took a 1-0 slider down and away into the right-center seats, just above a leaping Nelson Cruz. That put the Yankees up five, and gave them back-to-back home runs by the second and third hitters in their order.

At 5-0, this feels like a commanding position for CC Sabathia. Rangers fans can probably plan on seeing a Game 6 at home.


Rangers Vs. Yankees, ALCS Game 5: Jorge Posada, Curtis Granderson Spark Big Inning

Though CC Sabathia has allowed three hits through two innings, he hasn't allowed a run, which is ultimately the most important part of his game. And by keeping the Rangers scoreless, Sabathia gave the Yankees an opportunity to take an early lead, which they went and did in the second inning courtesy of wildness from C.J. Wilson and shoddy defense.

Wilson started off with a four-pitch walk of Alex Rodriguez. He followed that by getting Marcus Thames to pop out, but Lance Berkman then drew another four-pitch walk to put two on with one out.

Up came Jorge Posada, and Posada was able to deliver the base hit the Yankees have been missing for several days. Posada hit a grounder through the hole into left field, scoring Rodriguez from second to put the hosts on top.

Things didn't get any better for Texas in the next at bat, when Curtis Granderson lined a single to right. The base hit scored Berkman, and when Posada rounded second and ran for third, Jeff Francoeur's throw escaped third baseman Michael Young. Posada was safe at third and continued home on the wild throw, and Wilson - who was backing up the play - then made another wild throw home, allowing Posada to reach safely. The Rangers had two opportunities to throw Posada out on the basepaths, but neither throw was on the mark.

The Yankees were thus up 3-0, with Granderson on second base. Brett Gardner struck out and Derek Jeter grounded out to end the frame, but it was a big one for New York, as they have a lead and they have Wilson's pitch count up to 38. If Sabathia can get settled in, there'll be a Game 6.

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