Saturday , 19 April 2014
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Rangers Even Series With Yanks

Rangers Even Series With Yanks

Yankee Stadium, the Bronx- A shortened memory shored up the bullpen of the Texas Rangers, as the boys in blue moved on from their walk-off loss on Monday to hold onto an 8-5 win over the hometown New York Yankees.

A night after failing to protect a slim lead, the Rangers’ relief corps of Robbie Ross, Neal Cotts, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan combined for 4.1 innings, surrendering only two runs while twice protecting a three-run lead.

The Yankees initially led 1-0 in the bottom half of the second inning after first baseman Lyle Overbay took Rangers’ starter Justin Grimm [7-5] to the Yankees’ bullpen in right center-field for his ninth homer of the season.

Texas would reclaim the lead in the top of the third.

It began after a scary play involving Yankees’ starter Andy Pettitte and third baseman Jayson Nix colliding near the third baseline. Pettitte tried to make a throw to first on a hit by Leonys Martin, and upon the release accidentally sideswiped Nix, who Pettitte did not see coming towards him, this hitting him with his left hand.

Both Pettitte and Nix went down, while Martin was safe at first. The bases get loaded after a walk to the lead-off hitter Ian Kinsler and a throwing error on Nix, helping shortstop Elvis Andrus reach first safely. With one out, Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre ripped a two-RBI [40, 41] double off the Budweiser sign in left-field, scoring Martin from third and Kinsler from first to put Texas ahead 2-1. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski followed suit with a two-RBI [25, 26] double of his own that dribbled into center-field scoring Andrus and Beltre, for a 4-1 Rangers lead.

“What was nice was to see the middle of my order come up big,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “We need that. Without those guys doing what they did and what they are capable of doing, it would be a long year. They pulled it out for us tonight.”

Pettitte [5-6] has now lost his third straight start, tossing a season-high 107 pitches while giving up three earned runs in six innings off six hits, while striking out six Texas batters.

“My body is feeling good, my velocity is good, my command is good,” Pettitte said. “It will turn. I’ve been through this before and it’s worked out all right. I just want my body to keep feeling good.”

The Yankees would cut the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, only to have Texas score two more runs off relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain in the top of the seventh. Chamberlain was not effective, giving up a two-run blast on the first pitch to right-fielder Nelson Cruz, as Cruz tattooed his 20th homer of the season into the Rangers’ bullpen in left center-field to give the Rangers a 6-3 advantage.

Cruz is now the fifth Ranger to have five consecutive seasons of at least 20 home runs, joining: Juan Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Pete Incaviglia and Rafael Palmeiro.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Yankees had some success off Rangers’ reliever Robbie Ross, with Ichiro homering for the second consecutive game, this time for a two-run slam [5] that landed in the second deck in right-field, 6-5 Texas. Unfortunately for the Bombers, Nix was unable to aid in recapturing the lead, grounding out to short for an inning-ending double-play with the bases loaded.

“We closed their lead a couple of times. They’ve been really good. Tonight we gave them extra opportunities and they really cost us,” said Yankees’ skipper Joe Girardi.

The Rangers gained two insurance runs off Pinstripes’ reliever Shawn Kelley in the top of the ninth inning.

The scoring started when Pierzynski reached first after Yankees’ center-fielder Brett Gardner could not cleanly field the ball in center, helping Beltre advance to third base with one out. One batter later, former Yankee Lance Berkman hit an RBI-single [34] into right-field scoring Beltre from third, 7-5 Texas.

Rangers’ first baseman Mitch Moreland helped bring in the final run of the game popping up a sacrifice-fly RBI [32] into left-field driving home Pierzynski from third base, 8-5 Texas.

“Obviously, when Nellie [Cruz] and Adrian [Beltre] are swinging the bat well, it makes my job hitting behind them a lot easier,” Pierzynski said. “But I think this team has prided itself on 1 through 9 giving you tough at-bats, and I think that we’ve kind of started to get healthy and guys have started to do that.”

Joe Nathan recorded his 26th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning, and has posted a .069 ERA in his last ten save chances.

Notes: The Rangers’ Engel Beltre made his Major League debut in the top of the ninth inning when he pinch-ran for Berkman.

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