Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Bengie Molina smacked a go-ahead three-run homer off A.J. Burnett in the sixth inning, helping the Texas Rangers put themselves on the brink of their first World Series appearance with a 10-3 win over New York in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium.
The Rangers, winners in all five of their road games this postseason, lead the best-of-seven series three games to one thanks to four home runs and four relievers shutting down the defending World Series champions over the final 5 2/3 frames.
Molina finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Josh Hamilton hit a pair of solo homers for Texas, which has hit at least one long ball in each of its nine playoff tilts. Nelson Cruz also went deep in the lopsided affair.
Derek Holland (1-0) tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings to get the win behind Tommy Hunter, who was charged with three runs on five hits in 3 1/3 frames.
Burnett (0-1), called upon despite his late-season struggles, yielded five runs on six hits and three walks over six innings in a loss further exacerbated by a strained right hamstring to first baseman Mark Teixeira.
Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 with a solo homer for the Yankees, who have never lost in the ALCS after trailing the series, 2-1.
In Game 5 on Wednesday, CC Sabathia will have the task of keeping New York’s season alive opposite C.J. Wilson in a rematch of Game 1 starters. Sabathia lasted just four innings in the opener and was in line for the loss before the Yankees rallied for the win against the Rangers’ bullpen.