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This time, Rangers hang on at home

Elvis Andrus slides past Jorge Posada with a steal of home on a first-inning double steal to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

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Elvis Andrus slides past Jorge Posada with a steal of home on a first-inning double steal to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

ARLINGTON, Texas — There were no pep talks, no extended discussions after a meltdown by the Rangers bullpen.

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Just quick redemption and Texas' first postseason victory at home in the franchise's 50 seasons.

A night after a bullpen debacle, Elvis Andrus got the Rangers off to a running start as they bolted out to another big lead, Colby Lewis pitched effectively into the sixth and five relievers made it stand in a 7-2 win over the Yankees, tying the AL Championship Series at one game.

"That's what they have been doing for us all year. That's how we got to this point," manager Ron Washington said. "(Friday) night, we didn't get it done. We didn't make any excuses about it. We took the whipping, we took a shower. … I was going to give the ball back to those guys if it presented itself. It presented itself, they did a great job. I expected that."

New York got one hit over 31/3 scoreless innings against the bullpen this time, including three relievers that were part of the Game 1 breakdown.

The best-of-seven series heads to Yankee Stadium for Game 3 on Monday, when Texas will have ace left-hander Cliff Lee on the mound. Lee has won his past four starts in New York.

"Nobody wants to have a bad taste in their mouth, especially five games going forward," reliever Darren O'Day said. "Really, we should be up 2-0, but things like that happen. … A lot of good things happened the last two days."

Texas has been in control except for that eighth inning in Game 1, when the defending World Series champion Yankees had a five-run outburst against five pitchers for a 6-5 victory even though their ace, CC Sabathia, lasted only four innings.

The Rangers again built an early 5-0 lead in Game 2 but this time stayed ahead to snap a 10-game postseason losing streak against New York.

New York knocked the Rangers out of the playoffs in 1996, 1998 and 1999, Texas' only other postseason appearances. These Rangers don't plan to be easily dismissed.

"(Saturday) was a lot more important for the Rangers after having lost that lead" Friday, Yankees DH Lance Berkman said. "You knew it would be a hard-fought series. "

Andrus led off the first with an infield single on a chopper that deflected off starter Phil Hughes' glove. Andrus went to second on a wild pitch then stole third before Josh Hamilton walked.

With Nelson Cruz batting and two outs, Hamilton took off for second base, and Andrus ran home when catcher Jorge Posada threw the ball to second. The double steal put Texas up 1-0 before Cruz's inning-ending strikeout.

"Elvis got on and basically took three bags," Lewis said.

"Opportunity seemed right, so I took a chance. That's the way we play," Washington said. "It worked. Got us going."

David Murphy homered off the facade of the second deck in the second for a 2-0 lead, then an inning later he and Bengie Molina had consecutive RBI doubles to make it 5-0.

"This team has been resilient all year long, so it's no reason it should be any different now," Murphy said.

Rangers 7

Yankees 2

This time, Rangers hang on at home 10/16/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 17, 2010 12:17am]

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