ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Their Texas-sized wait is over. The
Rangers are going to the World Series.
And they got there with a win over their old nemesis, the
defending champion New York Yankees.
Vladimir Guerrero drove in three runs before Nelson Cruz hit a
towering, two-run homer and the Rangers beat New York 6-1 Friday
night in Game 6 of the AL championship series, the biggest victory
in the franchise's 50 seasons.
Colby Lewis dominated for his second win of the series and Josh
Hamilton earned the ALCS MVP award. And in a state where most
sports fans gear up for fall weekends by watching high school
football, the Rangers gave a new meaning to Friday Night Lights.
When Alex Rodriguez took a called third strike to end the game,
fireworks exploded in the sky high above, confetti filled the air
and the Rangers embraced each other near the mound.
Rangers icon Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher who is the
team president and co-owner, embraced his wife in the front row
before going on the field to join the team.
Cliff Lee was waiting if needed by the Rangers for a deciding
Game 7 against the Yankees. Now the ace left-hander can get ready
for Game 1 of the World Series, on Wednesday night in either San
Francisco or Philadelphia. The Giants lead the NLCS 3-2.
The Rangers, who had never won a postseason series or a home
playoff game before this year, dispatched the $200 million-plus
Bronx Bombers with little drama - especially after a four-run
outburst in the fifth inning snapped a 1-all tie.
And that makes it even more satisfying for the Rangers and their
fans since New York knocked Texas out of the playoffs in each of
the club's three previous appearances. Derek Jeter is among several
players remaining from those teams in the late 1990s and Rodriguez
is among several former Rangers now wearing pinstripes.