ARLINGTON TX - OCTOBER 22: Bengie Molina #11 and Neftali Feliz #30 of the Texas Rangers celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 6-1 in Game Six of the ALCS to advance to the World Series during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

ALCS Game 6: Rangers Reach First-Ever World Series With 6-1 Shredding Of Yankees

A two-run double by Vladimir Guerrero and a two-run homer by Nelson Cruz put the Rangers well in the lead, and they hung on the rest of the way to clinch the first World Series berth in franchise history. Check out more at Lone Star Ball and Pinstripe Alley.

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Colby Lewis, Nelson Cruz Lead Way As Rangers Beat Yankees In ALCS Game 6, Advance To World Series

For the Rangers and their fans, it's been a long time coming. But at long last, their season is extending as long as it possibly can.

Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz each drove in a pair of runs in a four-run fifth inning, and Colby Lewis spun eight sparkling frames as the Texas Rangers defeated the New York Yankees 6-1 in Game 6 of the ALCS, thereby earning the first trip to the World Series in franchise history.

It was a large, loud, and nervous crowd in Arlington at first pitch, as the Rangers were only a win away from advancing, but had just been throttled by the Yankees in Game 5. You never count a team as good as the Yankees out, and no one was quite sure what to think coming in.

But Colby Lewis got everybody settled down with a scoreless top of the first, and the Rangers were then able to take the lead and get in control in the bottom half.

Elvis Andrus led off against Phil Hughes with a line drive into the left-center gap that went for two bases. Andrus then advanced to third on a single and scored on a slow Vladimir Guerrero grounder to second base. That grounder put the Rangers up 1-0 in the very early going.

And Lewis was able to make that lead hold up for quite a while. Lewis spun a perfect second and a perfect third, and faced only three batters in the fourth when he picked up an inning-ending double play off the bat of Robinson Cano.

That was the good news for the Rangers. The bad news was that, while Lewis was putting up zeroes, they were letting Hughes do the same even though he didn't have his best stuff. The Yankees starter worked around a couple runners in the third and another runner in the fourth to keep the game 1-0.

The Yankees were then able to tie it up in the top of the fifth, with a little help from home plate umpire Brian Gorman. Alex Rodriguez led off with a double, and advanced to third on a long fly out. That brought Nick Swisher to the plate, and on the first pitch, Lewis threw Swisher a low inside breaking ball that bounced in the dirt and then bounced off of his leg, getting behind Bengie Molina. The pitch clearly hit the batter, but Gorman's view was blocked, and he ruled the play a wild pitch, allowing Rodriguez to score from third base.

Lewis, though, would keep the Yankees there despite a double later in the inning. And rather than feel bad about themselves and their lousy luck, the Rangers put it all behind them and then some in the bottom half.

Mitch Moreland led off with a single and advanced to third on a pair of groundouts. Hughes then elected to intentionally walk Josh Hamilton to face Vladimir Guerrero with two down and men on the corners. But Hughes hung a curveball out over the plate, and Guerrero drove it into deep center field over Curtis Granderson's head for a two-run double.

The stadium erupted, and Joe Girardi immediately came out to replace Hughes with David Robertson. Robertson, though, was unable to settle anything down, and on his sixth pitch, he threw Nelson Cruz a low inside fastball that Cruz launched even deeper to center field. The ball cleared the fence with ease for a two-run homer, extending the Rangers' lead to 5-1.

From that point on, things were comfortable, as the Yankees wouldn't threaten the rest of the way. They didn't have a batter reach in the sixth. In the seventh, they stranded Lance Berkman after a two-out triple. And the Rangers would only add an insurance run on a sacrifice fly following the stretch.

And in his final frame of the evening, Lewis might've been at his best in the top of the eighth, when he pitched around a walk by striking out the side. His final pitch was an 0-2 slider to Derek Jeter that the Yankee captain cut on and missed.

Neftali Feliz was called on to close in the ninth, and whatever nervousness he'd shown earlier in the postseason was out of the window Friday night. He struck out Curtis Granderson with a high fastball. He got a grounder off the bat of Robinson Cano. The last batter he saw was - rather fittingly - former Ranger Alex Rodriguez, and Feliz froze him with a two-strike low away slider. Gorman signaled the strikeout, and the celebration was underway in Texas, with fireworks going off and players streaming in from the dugout and the bullpen.

The Rangers are now off to the World Series, leaving the Mariners and the Nationals/Expos as the only remaining franchises never to make it. Even better, they'll have Cliff Lee all rested and ready to go for Game 1, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 27, at 7:57pm ET. It will be played in either San Francisco or Philadelphia, depending on the outcome of the NLCS.


Yankees Vs. Rangers, ALCS Game 6: Neftali Feliz Slams Door, Clinches World Series Berth

1972. 1972 is when the Washington Senators moved and became the Texas Rangers. For 38 years, they did nothing, collecting all of one win in the playoffs over three separate visits.

They've got eight wins in the 2010 postseason. Eight wins, and their first-ever trip to the World Series.

Closer Neftali Feliz came out of the bullpen and inherited a 6-1 lead, needing only to record three outs to send the Rangers along. The first batter he faced was Curtis Granderson, and Feliz put him away with a 98mph fastball for a strikeout.

Up next was Robinson Cano, and Cano fisted and excuse-me grounder to second for the easy second out of the inning.

Up third, very appropriately, was former Ranger Alex Rodriguez. And on the fourth pitch of Rodriguez's at bat against Feliz, his knees were buckled by an outside breaking ball, called for strike three.

Fireworks went off and the players all poured out of the dugout and bullpen onto the field. The Rangers have never had a bigger day.


Yankees Vs. Rangers, ALCS Game 6: Ian Kinsler Drives Home Insurance Run

A tall task for the Yankees has become even taller, as the Rangers were able to pad their lead with an extra run in the bottom of the seventh.

Michael Young led off against Kerry Wood with a double down the third base line, and that was followed by just another intentional walk of Josh Hamilton. With two on and none out, Vladimir Guerrero turned away from an inside pitch and accidentally tapped the ball in front of the plate, but he did his job, as the runners were able to advance.

That brought up Nelson Cruz, and the Yankees opted to walk him intentionally as well to load the bases for Ian Kinsler. The hope for New York was that Wood would be able to induce an inning-ending double play.

No such luck. Kinsler lifted a fly into left that Brett Gardner caught entirely too deep for a play at the plate. The sac fly drove in the Rangers' sixth run of the game, and it's 6-1 as we head to the eighth. Colby Lewis remains on the mound, with a pitch count of 86. He's allowed just three hits.


Yankees Vs. Rangers, ALCS Game 6: Nelson Cruz Blasts Huge Two-Run Home Run

The fifth inning didn't start so well for the Rangers, but boy, did they ever get a nice finish.

Vladimir Guerrero doubled home two runs to chase starter Phil Hughes from the game. In came David Robertson from the Yankees bullpen to work with a 3-1 score, and his first task was pitching to Nelson Cruz. It wasn't a 3-1 score much longer.

Robertson's sixth pitch to Cruz was a low, inside fastball. Nelson Cruz loves the low, inside fastball, and he put a charge into it, launching a long fly ball to deep center field that cleared the fence with ease. The two-run home run extended the Rangers lead to 5-1, a far cry from where it was just minutes before.

Ian Kinsler followed Cruz's homer with a well-hit double of his own, keeping the crowd alive, but David Murphy grounded out to end the inning. Nevertheless, the Rangers picked up a four-spot, and they're now 12 outs away from a a trip to the World Series.


Yankees Vs. Rangers, ALCS Game 6: Vladimir Guerrero Two-Run Double Knocks Phil Hughes Out

The Rangers got a bit of a bad break in the top of the fifth, when a bad call by Brian Gorman allowed the Yankees to tie the game up. But rather than feel sorry for themselves, the Rangers came out in the bottom half and took the lead right back.

Mitch Moreland led off with an infield single to Robinson Cano, as Phil Hughes wasn't able to cover first base in time to beat Moreland to the bag. He then advanced to second on a grounder by Elvis Andrus, and advanced to third on a grounder by Michael Young.

In stepped Josh Hamilton, who the Yankees again elected to walk intentionally to face Vladimir Guerrero. This time, it backfired.

Guerrero got ahead 1-0 and drove a hanging curveball into straightaway center over Curtis Granderson's head, driving in a pair of runs to put the Rangers on top 3-1. Joe Girardi immediately came out of the dugout to pull Hughes and bring David Robertson into the game. Hughes' line:

4.2 innings
4 hits
4 walks
3 strikeouts
83 pitches (49 strikes)


Yankees Vs. Rangers, ALCS Game 6: Umpire Brian Gorman's Mistake Leads To Tie Game

The Yankees came into the top of the fifth trailing 1-0 and running out of time to get into the game. A leadoff double by Alex Rodriguez helped matters, and put the tying run in scoring position with nobody out.

Rodriguez was then able to advance to third on a long fly ball by Lance Berkman. The ball appeared to be hit better off the bat than it actually was, and settled down shy of the warning track. But Rodriguez made it to third with ease.

In stepped Nick Swisher, batting from the left side. And here, we had some controversy. Lewis gave Swisher a first pitch breaking ball down and in that bounced, hit Swisher in the leg, and got away behind Bengie Molina. Home plate umpire Brian Gorman, however, ruled it a wild pitch instead of a hit batter, and Rodriguez jogged home to even the score.

Molina and Ron Washington argued, to no avail, even though replays clearly showed that the ball struck Swisher. Courtesy of bubbaprog:


Thanks to Gorman's decision, the Yankees had their run.

Swisher wound up hitting a grounder for the second out before Jorge Posada ripped a double down the first base line that took a big hop off the bag. With the go-ahead run in scoring position, though, Marcus Thames ended the inning by striking out on a pitch down and away.

1-1 we stand, into the bottom of the fifth.


Yankees Vs. Rangers, ALCS Game 6: Elvis Andrus Scores First Run

The Rangers got what they wanted in the top of the first, and they got more of what they wanted in the bottom. An inning into this game, the home team is sitting on a 1-0 lead.

Elvis Andrus led off against Phil Hughes and lined a ball between Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in the outfield. Granderson was able to cut it off before it reached the track, but Andrus still walked into second base for a leadoff double.

After a long at bat by Michael Young resulted in a strikeout, Josh Hamilton then singled to left to put runners on the corners. Gardner had been playing Hamilton unusually shallow, which kept Andrus where he was at third.

In stood Vladimir Guerrero. On a 1-2 pitch, Hamilton broke for second, and Guerrero pushed a grounder to second base. Because Hamilton was running, Robinson Cano couldn't attempt a double play, and Andrus scored on what wound up a fielder's choice.

That put the Rangers up 1-0. They could've gotten more, but Nelson Cruz flied out with Hamilton on second to end the inning.

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