St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Cliff Lee struck out 10 in seven masterful innings, and Texas got home runs from Nelson Cruz and Bengie Molina on its way to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of their American League Division Series matchup.
The AL West-champion Rangers are back in the postseason for the first time since 1999 and got just their second playoff win in franchise history.
Texas has lost all three playoff series it has contested, but took a big step toward its first victory thanks to Lee, who gave up just one run on five hits and did not walk a batter.
Lee got support from his offense, which plated five runs (four earned) off Tampa Bay ace David Price. Price gave up nine hits in 6 2/3 innings, though did not walk a batter and struck out eight.
Ben Zobrist’s solo homer in the seventh inning provided the lone run for the Rays, who won the AL East to reach the postseason for the second time in their history.
Game 2 of this best-of-five series is set for Thursday back at Tropicana Field.
10/06 16:52:39 ET