After rallying to win Game 1, the Yankees look to take a 2-0 lead in the AL championship series back to the Bronx with an 11th straight postseason victory over the Rangers on Saturday.
Texas is 0-7 all-time at home in the postseason. The Yankees are responsible for five of those defeats, including a stunning 6-5 win Friday.
“At some point, we’ll finally get a win,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
That might not come against New York, which has won 10 straight playoff games against Texas since losing 6-2 in Game 1 of the 1996 AL division series.
Trailing 5-0 Friday, New York scored a run in the seventh inning and five in the eighth for its fifth consecutive postseason victory. Former Ranger Alex Rodriguez(notes) had a two-run single in the eighth. Robinson Cano(notes) followed with a game-tying single before Marcus Thames’(notes) broken-bat hit gave the Yankees the lead.
“We just trust what we got,” said Cano, who went 3 for 4 with a homer.
The Yankees are the first team to win a postseason game after trailing by at least four runs in the eighth since Houston came back from a 6-1 deficit in a 7-6, 18-inning win over Atlanta in Game 4 of the 2005 NL division series.
New York had 48 comeback wins during the regular season, and has three in four playoff games.
“We have a veteran clubhouse that knows how to react to whatever situation we are in,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We look forward to Game 2.”
After totaling career highs with 29 homers and 109 RBIs this season, Cano is 7 for 16 in the playoffs.
Rodriguez, who is still getting paid by the Rangers after waiving his no-trade clause in 2004 to join the Yankees, hit .360 with eight RBIs against his former team in the regular season.
The three runs in the first were one more than Texas totaled in the 1998 and 1999 division series against New York.
Though Friday’s loss certainly stings, Washington has faith his team can rebound.
“They usually recover when things go bad,” he said. “We’ll come back and fight just as hard. Hopefully we’ll get different results.”
Rangers third baseman Michael Young(notes) had a two-run double Friday, but is 5 for 25 in the postseason. He is 0 for 7 against scheduled Game 2 starter Phil Hughes(notes), who has not allowed a run while winning his only two previous starts at Texas.
The right-hander didn’t allow a hit in 6 1-3 innings before suffering a rib injury at Texas in his second career start May 1, 2007. He gave up three hits and struck out six in eight innings of an 11-1 win on May 25, 2009 in Arlington.
“I feel pretty comfortable here,” Hughes said. “I’m not sure what it is, the ballpark, or what it is. I’m looking forward to it, and excited for the challenge.”
Hughes also is aware that facing the potent Rangers lineup in the postseason has the potential to present a bigger challenge than before.
“They have a lot of power and they are aggressive on the base paths and you want to minimize that,” Hughes said. “For me, I just try to execute my game plan and attack the zone early and throw strikes.”
Hughes did that in his first postseason start, allowing four hits and striking out six in seven scoreless innings of New York’s 6-1 ALDS clincher against Minnesota last Saturday.
The right-hander, who spent the past two seasons pitching in Japan, gave up two hits in five scoreless innings of a 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay in Game 3 of the ALDS last Saturday.
“Get the first one out of the way and then we’re in the ALCS and get another opportunity,” Lewis said. “Now I know what to expect my second start.”
The Yankees, however, might not know what to expect from Lewis, who has not faced them since his first stint with Texas in 2003. He is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA in three starts versus New York.
“You’re going to have to pick and choose your spots just like any other start to be a little more aggressive at other times and mainly just get ahead of guys and try to get them out,” Lewis said of the Yankees’ lineup.
New York’s Mariano Rivera(notes) worked the ninth Friday for his 42nd career postseason save, extending his major league record. Rivera, who has allowed one earned run over his last 21 playoff appearances overall, has not yielded a run in 12 innings while converting all five postseason save chances versus Texas.