ARLINGTON, Texas – Back in Texas. Back in the World Series.
The Rangers, behind emerging October ace Colby Lewis, came home and threw themselves the biggest tailgate party of them all, beating San Francisco 4-2 on Saturday night and cutting the Giants’ Series edge to 2-1.
“We wanted to get back home. We felt comfortable here,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “We knew we could finally put a good game together, and we did.”
Psyched by pep talks from former President George W. Bush and spurred by a heater from Nolan Ryan, the Rangers became the first team from Texas to win a Series game.
Rookie Mitch Moreland hit an early three-run homer, Josh Hamilton later launched a 426-foot shot and the Rangers posted a Series win that took the franchise 50 years to achieve.
Just in time, in fact, coming off two thumpings in San Francisco.
“We’re still down one game, but it’s shifted,” Hamilton said.
Lewis worked around solo home runs by Cody Ross in the seventh inning and Andres Torres in the eighth. The Giants eventually brought the tying run to the plate, but reliever Darren O’Day retired Buster Posey to end the eighth.
Neftali Feliz, the Rangers’ rocket-armed rookie closer pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the postseason.
The Rangers looked more like themselves with Vladimir Guerrero back in the DH spot. The other Texas big bats chimed in, with Hamilton hitting his fifth home run of the postseason.
Moreland homered from the ninth spot in the lineup, connecting on the ninth pitch of a second-inning at-bat for a 3-0 lead.
“I knew I had a runner in scoring position, so he was going to try to pitch me tough and I fouled off some off speed stuff and just tried to battle back, and I got the fastball,” the former Spokane Indian said.
It was the big hit the Rangers needed to get back into the Series. The crowd roared and Ryan stood up, thrust his right arm in the air and hollered.
No team in World Series history has overcome a 3-0 deficit and now Texas won’t have to try, either. Rangers starter Tommy Hunter, especially good at home, faces rookie Madison Bumgarner in Game 4 tonight.
Lewis picked up where he left off in the A.L. Championship Series, where he finished off the defending champion Yankees in Game 6. He’s 3-0 this postseason, all of his wins coming after a Texas loss.
Lewis allowed five hits in 7 2/3 innings and struck out six. He stopped a Giants team that had become the first N.L. team to score at least nine runs in back-to-back games.
Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez, who got just six outs against Philadelphia in his previous start, gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings, raising his ERA to 4.05 in four postseason starts. He was replaced by Guillermo Mota, who had started warming up in the third.
Rangers 4, Giants 2
E—Renteria (1). LOB—San Francisco 5, Texas 5. 2B—A.Huff (2), N.Cruz (2). HR—C.Ross (1), A.Torres (1), Moreland (1), J.Hamilton (1). RBIs—A.Torres (2), C.Ross (2), J.Hamilton (1), Moreland 3 (3). SB—Kinsler (1). CS—Guerrero (1). RLISP—San Francisco 2; Texas 2. DP—San Francisco 3; Texas 1.
|JSnchz L, 0-1||42/3||6||4||4||3||3||7.71|
|C.Lewis W, 1-0||72/3||5||2||2||2||6||2.35|
|O’Day H, 1||1/3||0||0||0||0||0||13.50|
|N.Feliz S, 1-1||1||0||0||0||0||2||0.00|
IR-S—Mota 1-0, O’Day 1-0. HBP—A.Huff. T—2:51. A—52,419 (49,170).