ARLINGTON, Texas -- There were no pep talks, no extended discussions after a meltdown by the Texas Rangers' bullpen.
Just quick redemption and the Rangers' first postseason victory at home in the franchise's 50 seasons. Neftali Feliz fired a final fastball and it was over. This was a lead Texas did not let slip away against the New York Yankees.
A night after a bullpen debacle, Elvis Andrus got the Rangers off to a running start as they bolted out to another big lead, Colby Lewis pitched effectively into the sixth inning and five relievers made it stand in a 7-2 victory over the Yankees. The AL Championship Series is even at a game each.
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"That's what they have been doing for us all year. That's how we got to this point," manager Ron Washington said. "Last night, we didn't get it done. We didn't make any excuses about it. We took the whipping, we took a shower. ... I was going to give the ball back to those guys if it presented itself. It presented itself, they did a great job. I expected that."
New York got only one hit over 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the bullpen this time, including three relievers that were part of the Game 1 breakdown.
The best-of-7 series now switches to Yankee Stadium for Game 3 on Monday night, when Texas will have hired ace left-hander Cliff Lee on the mound. Lee has won his last four starts in New York, including a complete game for Philadelphia in last year's World Series.
"Nobody wants to have a bad taste in their mouth, especially five games going forward," reliever Darren O'Day said. "Really, we should be up 2-0, but things like that happen. ... A lot of good things happened the last two days."
Texas has been in control except for that eighth inning in Game 1, when the defending World Series champion Yankees had a five-run outburst against five pitchers for a 6-5 victory even though CC Sabathia lasted only four innings.
The Rangers again built an early 5-0 lead in Game 2 -- and stayed ahead to snap a 10-game postseason losing streak against New York.
New York's postseason winning streak over the Rangers included knocking them out of the playoffs in 1996, 1998 and 1999, Texas' only other postseason appearances.
These Rangers don't plan to be easily dismissed by the Bronx Bombers, who have won 27 World Series titles and 40 pennants.
"Today was a lot more important for the Rangers after having lost that lead yesterday," Yankees DH Lance Berkman said. "You knew it would be a hard-fought series. "
With Nelson Cruz batting and two outs, Hamilton took off for second base, and Andrus ran home when Jorge Posada threw the ball to second. The double-steal put Texas up 1-0 before Cruz's inning-ending strikeout.
"Elvis got on and basically took three bags," Lewis said.
"Opportunity seemed right, so I took a chance. That's the way we play," Washington said. "It worked. Got us going."
"This team has been resilient all year long so it's no reason it should be any different now," Murphy said.
Texas had lost its first seven home playoffs games, the most by any team before finally getting a victory in front of its own fans, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Five of those losses had been to New York, plus two to Tampa Bay in the first round.
Andy Pettitte pitches for the Yankees against Lee on Monday night. Manager Joe Girardi decided before this series started to swap the rotation order of Hughes and Pettitte.
Robinson Cano got the Yankees started Friday night, and again Saturday.
Cano doubled and scored on a single by Berkman in the fourth. Cano then homered for the second game in a row, a 435-foot solo shot to right in the sixth.
After a majors-best 48 come-from-behind victories in the regular season, and three more this postseason, the Yankees couldn't pull off another one against the Rangers relievers.
The previous night, Rapada gave up an RBI single to Cano on the only pitch he threw, and Thames had a broken-bat single that sent Alex Rodriguez home with the tiebreaking run.
Reliever Alexi Ogando then allowed a couple of base runners in the seventh, but got out of that jam unscathed when he struck out Cano for the final out.
Darren Oliver, who walked the only two batters he faced Friday night, walked the leadoff hitter in the eighth. He then got a strikeout and a grounder before O'Day, who allowed a two-run single on his only pitch and was the loser the night before, got Thames on a grounder.
Feliz, the rookie All-Star closer, walked two before finally getting Cano out on a game-ending flyball, setting off a celebration of fireworks high above a crowd of 50,362 waving white towels.
Lewis struck out six while allowing two runs and six hits in his second postseason start. The right-hander, back with his original team after the past two seasons in Japan, threw five scoreless innings in his postseason debut a week earlier against Tampa Bay.
Hughes had allowed only three hits in 15 1/3 scoreless innings his three previous games at Rangers Ballpark. In his second major league start three years ago, Hughes had 6 1/3 hitless innings before coming out of that game with a hamstring injury.
The Rangers had 10 hits, seven for extra bases, off the 24-year-old right-hander when it counted most. He gave up seven runs and his only three strikeouts came in the first inning.
Hughes was coming off seven scoreless innings in his only other postseason start, the clinching game of the AL Division Deries over Minnesota a week earlier that the Yankees swept in three games.
After Murphy's homer in the second, rookie first baseman Mitch Moreland singled and came home on Michael Young's double.
Texas had three doubles in the third, when Cruz led off with a ball that hit on the right-field wall only inches from going over. Ian Kinsler then had a sacrifice bunt before the consecutive two-baggers by Murphy and Molina.
Cruz just missed hitting a homer again in the fifth, when he led off with a ball that hit off the top of the wall in center field. Kinsler followed with a triple into the right-field corner and Hughes was done.
- Hamilton is the only Rangers starter who didn't have a hit. But he walked four times, two of them intentional passes.
- The three stolen bases by the Rangers in the first tied a championship series record for the most in an inning. That had been done four other times, the last by the New York Mets in the 1999 NLCS.
- The last player to steal home in a postseason game was Brad Fullmer on a double steal for the Los Angeles Angels in Game 2 of the 2002 World Series.