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Texas Finally Makes it to World Series

Texas Rangers' Neftali Feliz pitches against the New York Yankees in the ninth inning of Game 6 of baseball's American League Championship Series in Arlington, Texas, 22 Oct 2010

The Texas Rangers have reached Major League Baseball's title World Series for the first time. The Rangers beat the New York Yankees four games to two in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series (ALCS) Friday night at home in Arlington, Texas to advance to the World Series.

The Texas Rangers scored four runs in the fifth inning in a 6-1 rout of the defending champion New York Yankees to clinch the American League pennant and a berth in the World Series for the first time in the 50-year history of the franchise.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said his team's commitment to believing in itself is paying off. "It's not the best team that wins," he said. "It's the team that plays the best on that day. Well, there were quite a few days we played better than the teams we played, and that's why we're headed to the World Series."

Vladimir Guerrero drove in three runs, and Nelson Cruz hit a home run against the Yankees, while pitcher Colby Lewis allowed three hits and one run in eight innings for his second win of the series. Texas slugger Josh Hamilton was named ALCS most valuable player.

Before this post-season, the Rangers had never won a home playoff game, let alone unceremoniously oust baseball's richest, most successful team for the American League championship. Losing the pennant ended New York's quest for a league-record 28th World Series crown and its 41st American League title.

The Rangers victory over New York is especially satisfying because the Yankees had eliminated Texas in all three of its previous post-season appearances before going on to win the World Series in 1996, 1998 and 1999. In 2010, the tables are turned and it is the Bronx Bombers who go home as losers.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said losing the American League pennant is a tough way to end the season. "It's not a lot of fun watching other teams celebrate. They beat us. They out hit us, they out pitched us, and they beat us," he said.

The Rangers next face the winner of the National League Championship Series - either the San Francisco Giants or the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Giants head into Saturday's Game Six in Philadelphia with a three-games-to-two advantage over the Phillies.

Washington says he has no preference which team his Rangers will play in the World Series. "It really doesn't matter. Wherever we have to go, we're going to take our bags, we're going to pack them up, and we're just going to continue to play baseball," he said.

And Major League Baseball's championship best-of-seven game championship World Series begins Wednesday in Philadelphia or in San Francisco.