Randy Choate retired the only batter he faced, Grant Balfour allowed an RBI double to rookie first baseman Mitch Moreland before getting out of the inning.
Before the series against Tampa Bay, the Rangers had played only the Yankees in the playoffs. Texas won its first-ever playoff game in 1996, but New York then won three straight that season and swept best-of-five series in 1998 and 1999.
Now they will be depending on Lee, acquired July 9 from Texas for these kind of situations, to earn a chance to play New York again in the postseason.
“It’s been an unusual series so far,” Kinsler said. “We won two games at their place and they won two games at ours. That’s the way it stands and we hope it doesn’t change.”
NOTES: With his Game 1 victory, Lee is 5-0 in six career postseason starts. He went 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009, including 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA against the Yankees in the World Series. … Hunter needed 12 pitches to get the first out of the game. Then Carl Crawford grounded into an inning-ending double play on the next pitch. Crawford grounded into only two double plays in 600 at-bats during the regular season. … The game ended soon after the Dallas Cowboys kicked off their game at Cowboys Stadium, which is near Rangers Ballpark.