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Yankees Beat Tigers 10-1 to Force Decider; Rangers Oust Rays

Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida, on Oct. 4, 2011. Photographer: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida, on Oct. 4, 2011. Photographer: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The New York Yankees forced a decisive fifth game with a 10-1 win over the Detroit Tigers after the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the Major League Baseball playoffs for the second straight year.

A.J. Burnett and three relievers combined on a four-hitter for the Yankees at Comerica Park in Detroit last night to tie their American League Division Series at two games apiece.

The winner of tomorrow’s game at Yankee Stadium will play the Rangers for a place in the World Series after Texas beat the Rays 4-3 to take the series by three games to one.

In the National League, Ben Francisco’s pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning broke up a scoreless game and gave the Philadelphia Phillies a 3-2 win against the St. Louis Cardinals for a 2-1 lead in games. The series winner will play the Milwaukee Brewers or the Arizona Diamondbacks, who avoided a sweep with an 8-1 home win.

Derek Jeter hit a two-run double in the third inning to give New York a 2-0 lead. After Victor Martinez hit a home run for Detroit in the fourth, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez drove in runs to make it 4-1 after five innings.

The Yankees made certain of the win with six runs in the eighth inning, including a two-run single from Robinson Cano and one-run singles by Jesus Montero and Brett Gardner.

“As the game went on, the guys continued to get better at bats,” Granderson said in a televised interview.

Yankees starter Burnett allowed one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings to get the win.

7.57 ERA

Burnett entered the game a combined 21-26 with a 5.20 earned run average over the past two seasons and only got the start because rain suspended Game 1 of the series. He’d been set to pitch in relief during the playoffs after compiling a 7.57 ERA over his final seven starts of the regular season.

Tigers starter Rick Porcello took the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits in six innings.

“Porcello pitched great and had us off-balance and the guys stuck to their plan and made adjustments to get hits as the game went on,” Granderson said.

At Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Adrian Beltre became the sixth player to hit three home runs in a postseason game as defending AL champion Texas won three straight games after a 9-0 loss to the Rays in Game 1.

“This is one of the main reasons I came to this team, to put a ring on my finger,” Beltre, who’s in his first season with the Rangers, said in a televised interview. “We’re looking good right now, but we still have a long way to go.”

At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, Cole Hamels allowed five hits in six scoreless innings for the Phillies, who can reach the NL Championship Series for the fourth straight season with a win at St. Louis tonight. Albert Pujols had three doubles for the Cardinals.

Rookie Grand Slam

In the fifth inning at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt became the third rookie to hit a grand slam in the postseason.

“It was an exciting game,” Goldschmidt, 24, told reporters. “He threw a fast ball and it ended up pretty much down the middle.”

Milwaukee leads 2-1 in games and has a second chance to wrap up the series in Game 4 tonight.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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