Arlington, Texas. Mitch Moreland hit a three-run homer in the second inning and Josh Hamilton added a solo shot in the fifth as the Texas Rangers beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on Saturday to make it 2-1 in the World Series.
With former President George W. Bush watching from a front-row seat, winner Colby Lewis worked around solo home runs by Cody Ross in the seventh inning and Andres Torres in the eighth. The Giants eventually brought the tying run to the plate, but reliever Darren O’Day retired Buster Posey to end the eighth.
“I was just really excited to come back home. I knew with these fans out here we had a definite advantage,” Lewis said.
Texas manager Ron Washington finally brought in Neftali Feliz in the ninth inning, and the powerful closer earned his first save of the postseason. Washington had been criticized in the first two games at San Francisco for leaving Feliz in the bullpen while the Giants broke away.
Rangers starter Tommy Hunter, especially good at home, faces rookie Madison Bumgarner in Game 4 on Sunday.
Lewis picked up where he left off in the American League championship series, where he finished the defending champion Yankees in Game 6. He’s 3-0 this postseason, all of his wins coming after a Texas loss.
Lewis allowed five hits in 7-2-3 innings and struck out six. He stopped a Giants team that had become the first National League team to score at least nine runs in back-to-back Series game.
“We needed a well-pitched job,” Washington said.
Moreland, promoted to the majors in late July, won a tough at-bat against Jonathan Sanchez with a three-run homer in the second on the ninth pitch.
Feliz stuck out two in a perfect ninth, setting off a big celebration. Bush leaned over and kissed the wife of Rangers great Nolan Ryan as fireworks exploded overhead.
The Rangers looked more like themselves with Vladimir Guerrero back in the designated hitter spot. The other Texas big bats chimed in, with Hamilton hitting his fifth home run of the postseason.
Moreland homered from the ninth spot in the lineup.
Lewis is a below-.500 pitcher for his career, not including the two seasons he recently spent pitching for Hiroshima in the Japan league.
Despite a shaky record, he’s known for this trait: He gets tougher in tight situations.
Lewis escaped a two-on jam in the first by getting Pat Burrell to fish for a breaking ball, and worked around a leadoff walk to Ross in the second.
Nelson Cruz opened the Texas second with a double off the center-field wall and eighth-place hitter Bengie Molina drew a walk.
It was trouble time for Sanchez — he owned the best hits-to-innings ratio in the NL this year, yet also led the league in walks and can unravel quickly.
Moreland hung in, fouling off four straight 2-2 pitches and barely getting a piece on a couple of them.
He then took a smooth swing sent a liner far into the right-field seats for his first career home run against a left-hander.
It was the big hit the Rangers needed to get back into the Series. The crowd roared and Ryan stood up, thrust his right arm in the air and hollered.