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Friday, October 15, 2010
Bullpen fails Rangers who suddenly trail

By Jeff Caplan

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' bullpen was in full implode mode in the top of the eighth inning as the New York Yankees struck for five runs to take a 6-5 and completely stunned the 50,000-plus fans at Rangers Ballpark.

The five pitchers used by the Rangers in the inning tied an ALCS record for most pitchers used in one inning. It took the fifth, Derek Holland, to stop a string of seven consecutive Yankees batters from reaching base.

C.J. Wilson started the inning lead 5-1. But, a tremendous hustle play by Brett Gardner, diving into first and beating the toss from Mitch Moreland to Wilson got the ball rolling. Derek Jeter doubled to score Gardner and that was it for Wilson.

Darren Oliver, who walked the only two batters he faced, Darren O'Day and Clay Rapada failed to get an out. Alex Rodriguez drove in two with a single off O'Day and Robinson Cano tied it with a base hit up the middle off of Rapada. Holland entered and surrendered a shot to left from Marcus Thames. That drove in Rodriguez to give the Yankees a 6-5 lead.

And it could have been worse. Jorge Posada sent a drive to the right-field wall that Nelson Cruz grabbed for the first out. He struck out Curtis Granderson for the second out and then Gardner, who started the inning off, bounced out to shortstop.