Michael Young and Ian Kinsler hit home runs as the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-0 for a 2-0 lead in their American League playoff series.
C.J. Wilson and two relievers combined for a two-hit shutout for Texas, which can sweep the best-of-five AL Division Series with a Game 3 victory at home on Oct. 9.
The Rangers are the only current Major League Baseball franchise that hasn’t won a postseason series.
The Rays, who led the AL with 96 wins during the regular season, scored one run in losing the first two games of the series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. They now need to win three straight to extend their season.
The New York Yankees look to take a 2-0 lead today in their AL playoff series against the Minnesota Twins after a 6-4 win in Game 1 yesterday in Minneapolis. The San Francisco Giants host the Atlanta Braves tonight in the opening game of their National League Division Series.
Wilson allowed two hits over 6 1/3 shutout innings for Texas, which won the series opener 5-1 behind the pitching of Cliff Lee.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when a throwing error by Rays pitcher James Shields on a pickoff attempt allowed Matt Treanor to score.
Kinsler hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and the AL West-champion Rangers added four runs in the fifth.
Rays reliever Chad Qualls replaced Shields and gave up a three-run homer to Young, the first batter he faced. Young’s homer to straightaway center field came one pitch after umpires ruled he checked his swing on a two-strike pitch.
Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected for disputing the call after Young’s homer gave the Rangers a 5-0 lead. Texas followed with three more singles off Qualls to score another run.
The Rangers have won twice as many games this postseason as their previous 49 years, when they went 1-9 in the playoffs.