Game 5: Rangers 5, Rays 1
The Rays have to shudder at just the mention of Cliff Lee‘s name. Lee was brilliant again for the Texas Rangers as he mowed down the Rays for the second time in the ALDS to give the Rangers a 5-1 win and the franchise’s first postseason series win. The Rangers became the only team in a five-game division series to win all three games on the road. Lee out dueled David Price just like in Game 1 by throwing a complete game with one run allowed, six hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts. Lee fanned 10 Rays in Game 1. For the second straight game Lee did not hand out a walk as Baseball Reference takes a look at all the pitchers that have done that before…hint, Lee was already on the list prior to this postseason. The Rangers offense played small ball early and grinded out a couple runs behind ridiculous base running that included Elvis Andrus scoring from second on a Josh Hamilton groundout to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. With the Rangers leading 3-1, Ian Kinsler added some insurance with a two-run blast off Rafael Soriano. It was Kinsler’s third home run of the series.

The Rays only offense off Lee was a Ben Zobrist‘s RBI single in the third inning, but they were held to six hits after that. Blah, the Rays managed just two runs in 16.0 innings in the series against Lee. Once again, they put together a lackluster performance in front of their home fans and were bounced from the playoffs. They scored a total of two runs in three games at Tropicana Field while the Rangers hit a total of eight home runs overall in the five games. The Rangers move on for the first time to the ALCS and will face the Yankees with the series beginning on Friday with C.C. Sabathia scheduled to face C.J. Wilson. Remember, the Yankees were willing to give up their top prospects to Texas just to avoid this particular scenario…facing Cliff Lee in the postseason. Well it should be fun to watch!