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Rangers' road run in rare company

Rangers' road run in rare company

NEW YORK -- Of the eight teams to reach baseball's postseason, only the Rangers had a losing record on the road. But those struggles away from Arlington are now a distant memory.

With a 10-3 win in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday, the Rangers improved to 5-0 on the road in the 2010 postseason and took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven set. In those five wins, the Rangers have outscored their opponents, 34-5.

"I think the big thing is we don't think too much about it," said reliever Derek Holland, who earned the win with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. "One thing is we like being considered the underdog going into people's places. They all talk about home-field advantage. We want to be able to show that there's no such thing."

Texas, which finished 39-42 in away games during the season, started its postseason road show with back-to-back wins to open the AL Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Two losses at home forced them to play a decisive Game 5 in St. Petersburg, but Cliff Lee and some aggressive baserunners proved up to the task. Now, two impressive wins in the Bronx have the Rangers on the cusp of the World Series.


"I can't really think of anything," third baseman Michael Young said when asked about the difference between the regular season and the playoffs. "We're a confident team, regardless of where we're playing. I think this year we just didn't get the breaks we were looking for on the road, didn't play as consistently as we'd like. But that stuff is all over with the second you hit the postseason. You get a new opportunity every night. I think that's the way momentum works out here."

"I don't know," outfielder Nelson Cruz said. "I could say anything. We're playing good."

For the first time in their five road wins, the Rangers had to come from behind. The Yankees chased starter Tommy Hunter with one out in the fourth inning and held leads of 1-0 and 3-2. Still, Holland wasn't intimidated by his surroundings.

"I was definitely a little nervous coming into Yankee Stadium, especially in the playoffs," Holland said. "But at the same time, you have to have fun with it."

If the Rangers win Game 5 on Wednesday, they would become the fifth team since the Division Series was introduced in 1995 to win every road game en route to a pennant. They would join the 1996 Yankees, the 2005 White Sox, the 2007 Rockies and the 2009 Phillies. Of those five, the Yankees and White Sox went on to win the World Series. Both remained perfect on the road in doing so.

If the Rangers don't win Game 5, they will head home for Game 6. The Rangers are 1-3 in Arlington in the postseason after posting a 51-30 mark there this season.

The 2005 White Sox were the last team to win three road games in the ALCS. Since that round expanded to a best-of-seven format in 1985, those White Sox, the 1996 Yankees and the 1991 Twins won all three road games after splitting the first two games at home. With a win on Wednesday, the Rangers will join the list.

For catcher Bengie Molina, who hit the go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning on Tuesday, low expectations could play a role as the Rangers try to reach their first World Series.

"My opinion is that we came here, we are supposed to lose," Molina said. "So let's go out there and have fun, see what happens."

Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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