Lee fans 13 in latest gem; Texas tops Yankees 8-0
NEW YORK (AP) -- Cliff Lee was even better than before in the postseason, and that was no small feat.
The ace of October went through the New York Yankees like a buzzsaw again, striking out 13 and pitching the Texas Rangers to an 8-0 victory Monday night for a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven AL championship series.
Josh Hamilton hit an early two-run homer off Andy Pettitte and started a six-run outburst in the ninth with a leadoff double. Lee allowed only two singles in eight innings and became the first pitcher to reach double digits in strikeouts three times in one postseason.
Mr. Automatic improved to 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight postseason starts. Three of those wins have come against the power-packed Yankees, including two in last year's World Series for Philadelphia.
New York won the other four games to take home its 27th championship, but now faces a tall task if it plans to repeat. The Yankees must win three straight against the resilient Rangers to advance without facing Lee in a decisive Game 7 at Texas. Game 4 is Tuesday night and the Yankees say they will start struggling right-hander A.J. Burnett, who hasn't pitched since Oct. 2. Tommy Hunter goes for Texas in his first career start at Yankee Stadium. Texas vs. New York - Recap - October 18, 2010