If the Texas Rangers are to win their first playoff series in franchise history, they'll need to do it in an elimination game tonight. The Rangers will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a decisive Game 5 in Tampa Bay tonight.
The road team has won each game so far in the best-of-five set with the Rangers taking the first two in Tampa Bay last week while the Rays staved off elimination twice with two wins in Arlington over the weekend.
Texas will send lefty ace Cliff Lee to the mound. Lee was the Game 1 winner, going seven innings, allowing only one run on five hits while striking out 10.
Tampa Bay will counter with their own lefty ace in David Price, who was hung with the loss in Game 1. Price went six and two thirds innings against Texas, allowing five runs (four earned), on nine hits while striking out eight. Price surrendered two home runs in the contest, one to Nelson Cruz and one to Bengie Molina.
When the Rangers acquired Cliff Lee in July, they essentially had the AL West crown wrapped up. They acquired Lee to pitch in this very game - a winner take all elimination game in the playoffs. In the '09 playoffs for Philadelphia, Lee was phenomenal, particularly on extra rest. As Adam Morris pointed out, last year in the playoffs on extra rest, Lee started three games logging 26 innings, allowing only one run on 15 hits, walking none and striking out 25.
The winner of tonight's game will host the Wild Card champion New York Yankees in the first two games of the ALCS.
First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 EDT. Televised coverage can be found on TBS.