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ALCS Game 4: Tommy Hunter Looks To Give Rangers Commanding 3-1 ALCS Lead

The Texas Rangers are two wins away from capturing their first American League pennant in franchise history and Tommy Hunter will look to get them one step closer tonight when he takes the mound for Texas. 

The Rangers won Game 3 behind another dominant Cliff Lee effort, defeating the Yankees 8-0 while Lee struck out 13 in eight innings and allowed only three Yankees to reach base. Texas led 2-0 headed into the ninth but exploded for six runs to put the game away.

New York will send troubled pitcher AJ Burnett to the mound to try to even up the ALCS. Burnett didn't pitch in the Yankees sweep over the Twins in the ALDS and hasn't pitched since October 2nd against the Boston Red Sox. Burnett was 10-15 for the Yankees this year, posting a 1.51 WHIP and 5.26 ERA while walking 78 and striking out 145 in 186.2 innings of work in 2010. 

Yankees manager Joe Girardi opted to pitch Burnett in Game 4 rather than skip him in favor of ace CC Sabathia on short rest. Girardi did not want young starter Phil Hughes to pitch on short rest or Andy Pettitte, who was beleaguered with injury, pitching on short rest. Sabathia will instead start Game 5.

Texas will counter Burnett with right hander Tommy Hunter to the mound. Hunter started Game 4 for the Rangers of the ALDS, lasting four innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs while striking out seven. He'll have a tough act to follow after Lee's gem in Game 3.

First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 EDT. Televised coverage can be found on TBS.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.