On this date in franchise history, the Texas Rangers finally did it. They finally reached the World Series.
On Oct. 22, 2010, the Rangers returned from New York for Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. Up 3-2 in the series, the Rangers had two chances to clinch their first trip to the World Series.
The Rangers didn’t want to take the chance on a Game 7.
Texas started Colby Lewis while the Yankees put Phil Hughes on the mound. It was a rematch of Game 2 of the series, in which Lewis came out on top.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Elvis Andrus led off with a double and later scored from third on an RBI groundout by Vladimir Guerrero.
The Yankees did tie the game in the fifth. Former Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez doubled in the inning and later scored on a wild pitch, one that some Rangers fans contend hit the batter, Nick Swisher.
But, tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Rangers put the game away.
Mitch Moreland was at third base for the Rangers with two outs. Hughes was preparing to face Josh Hamilton. The Yankees decided to intentionally walk Hamilton to put runners at first and third and create a potential force out at second on a ground ball. That brought Guerrero to the plate, and the Rangers All-Star took exception.
Guerrero had made a career out of being a Rangers killer with the Los Angeles Angels. But, in this situation, he became a fan favorite. He doubled, scoring Moreland and Hamilton. After a pitching change, Nelson Cruz hit a two-run home run to make it 5-1.
Ian Kinsler drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1 in the seventh.
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As for Colby Lewis, the one run allowed in the fifth was the only one he surrendered. In fact, Lewis turned in one of the most memorable pitching performances in the club's history. He pitched eight dominant innings, and only needed 102 pitches to do so.
Then in the ninth, the countdown was on to clinching the team’s first American League pennant. Rangers closer Neftalí Feliz took the ball in the final frame, and finished the game off. He struck out Rodriguez for the final out, a moment that was poetic to many Rangers fans, who were still angry at him for engineering his own exit from Arlington several years prior.
The Rangers won, 6-1, and were on their way to face the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.
Also on this date …
Oct. 22, 2011: The Rangers and the Cardinals faced off in Game 3 of the World Series at Ranger Ballpark in Arlington. It was a game most Rangers fans would rather forget, as the Cardinals won, 16-7.
It was most notable for the performance of Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols. While he didn’t have a hit in the first two games of the series, Pujols more than made up for it in Game 3. In the sixth inning he hit a two-run home run. In the seventh, he hit another two-run home run. Pujols hit his third home run in the ninth inning, as he finished 5-for-6 with two singles, four runs and six RBI.
Pujols joined Babe Ruth (1926, 1928) and Reggie Jackson (1977) as the only players in baseball history up to that time to hit three home runs in a World Series game.
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