Elvis Andrus hit a leadoff double deep into the gap in left-center field and scored on a groundball, and Colby Lewis faced the minimum number of batters through three innings to give the Texas Rangers a 1-0 lead over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the AL championship series.
Andrus also made a leaping catch of a hard hit line drive by Alex Rodriguez, helping push the Rangers within 18 outs of their first trip to the World Series.
Lewis did not allow a hit through three innings, throwing only 33 pitches. The only baserunner was No. 2 hitter Curtis Granderson walking, then getting caught stealing to end the first inning. It was a close play, with New York manager Joe Girardi coming out to discuss it. Slow-motion replays showed Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler tagged Granderson on the knee before his foot touched the bag.
Texas' run came in the bottom of the first off New York starter Phil Hughes.
Andrus doubled, then was held at third when Josh Hamilton singled to left field with one out. Vladimir Guerrero followed with a soft, high chopper to second base that easily drove in Andrus. It was Guerrero's first RBI of the series and second of the postseason.
The Rangers threatened again in the third, with No. 9 hitter Mitch Moreland drawing a leadoff walk and moving to second on a groundout. With first base open, Girardi wanted to intentionally walk Hamilton. Hughes' first pitch was too wide, though, and went off the glove of catcher Jorge Posada, sending Moreland to third. They still walked Hamilton, then Guerrero popped out to second base to end the inning.
The game got off to a goofy start before a pitch was even thrown.
Rain fell while the national anthem was sung by B.J. Thomas, the Arlington resident who in 1970 topped the charts with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head." The grounds crew tried dragging the tarp across the infield, but five flag-bearing Marines standing at attention in the middle of the grass — between the pitching mound and second base — weren't about to budge. Several of the tarp-dragging youngsters closest to the color guard pulled off their caps, others didn't.
When the song finished, the grounds crew and Marines jostled again. The military men wanted to march off in a particular pattern, but wound up zigzagging their way off the field.
The game started only four minutes late. It sprinkled again briefly during the bottom of the first inning.
If the Yankees come back and win, Game 7 would be Saturday night and it would feature the classic matchup of Texas' Cliff Lee against New York's Andy Pettitte. Lee is 3-0 this postseason and 3-0 in his career against the Yankees in the postseason, while Pettitte has won a record 19 playoff games over his career.