ARLINGTON -- Manager Ron Washington has been saying all season long that the Rangers needed Frank Francisco. In Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, they received a reminder of just how much they miss him.
Francisco, who was 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 52 2/3 innings, had been the Rangers' eighth-inning setup reliever for most of the season before going on the disabled list at the end of August with a strained muscle in his right rib cage.
"Of course we miss him," Washington said. "I made the statement throughout the year that it would be tough to get this done without him. We're getting it done, but it's tough. We've got to make do with what's available."
Washington has been using left-hander Darren Oliver and right-hander Darren O'Day as his primary setup relievers. But they were two of five pitchers who allowed five runs in the eighth inning in Game 1 as the Yankees rallied for a 6-5 victory.
C.J. Wilson had a 5-1 lead going into the eighth but allowed an infield single to Brett Gardner and a run-scoring double to Derek Jeter. Oliver took over and walked Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira. Then came three consecutive singles by Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Marcus Thames off O'Day, Clay Rapada and Derek Holland.
"We were comfortable with Ollie coming in," Washington said. "Usually he has pinpoint control. He just didn't have it. We certainly felt Ollie could get those outs, but he just didn't have his command."
Francisco has had a number of setbacks in his throwing program and is not expected to return for the remainder of the playoffs.