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Cliff Lee Shuts Down Yankees In Game 3 To Earn 7th Postseason Win

Patrick Crawley |
October 19, 2010 | 1:42 a.m. PDT

Senior Sports Editor

Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees

Game 3 recap: Andy Pettitte may be the winningest pitcher in MLB postseason history, but he looked average compared to Cliff Lee on Monday night. The Rangers' ace continued his postseason dominance in Game 3 of the ALCS. He held the Yankees to two hits in eight innings while striking out 13 as Texas cruised to an 8-0 win.

It was Lee's seventh playoff victory of all-time, putting him at 7-0 in eight starts with a 1.26 ERA.

Josh Hamilton and Michael Young were the big bats for the Rangers, going 3-for-5 and 2-for-5 respectively. Hamilton also added a home run and two RBIs.

The Rangers held a 2-0 lead into the eighth inning, at which point they exploded for six more run against the Yankees' bullpen to put the game out of reach.

Texas now leads the series 2-1.

Key moment: Hamilton's two-run homer in the second inning marked the only mistake in an otherwise impressive outing for Andy Pettitte. It was the second home run of the playoffs for Hamilton, who has otherwise been struggling. He is hitting just .179 in eight games, but he came up big on Monday.

Game changer: Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to let reliever Boone Logan handle the ninth inning instead of bringing in closer Mariano Rivera. Logan surrendured a hit to Josh Hamilton, who would later score, and it was all downhill from there. David Robertson came on to replace Logan and promptly gave up five more runs on five hits.

With three games in three days, it made sense for Girardi to save Rivera for the next game(s). However, bringing in the combination of Logan and Robertson blew any chance the Yankees had at a comeback in the bottom of the ninth.

Play of the game: Cliff Lee made an athletic play in the bottom of the third inning with two outs to force a diving Brett Gardner out at first base. Gardner successfully executed a similar play earlier in the series but this time Lee shut him down (see picture above).

Unsung hero: Michael Young went 3-for-5 with a run for the Rangers, increasing his series batting average to .400. He forced the Yankee pitchers to throw him a game-high 28 pitches.

Quote of the game: "I don't think we're in trouble. We're down 2-1, we're not down 3-0. It's frustrating we've lost two games in a row, but we've lost two games in a row a lot of times before and come back." - Yankees manager Joe Girardi

To reach editor Patrick Crawley, click here.

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