BY: Richard W. Humphrey
Sunday evening, the Rangers won their fifth straight game and second straight series by beating the Yankees 5-2 on ESPN’s nationally televised game. The win completed a three game sweep of the Yankees after taking two of three from Boston earlier in the week for just the second and third series wins of the season. Texas scored just eight runs total in the Boston series, but broke out the whooping sticks against New York as they scored 30 runs in the series helped greatly by ten home runs. It all added up to the best week of the season for Texas (5-1). It was the Yankees’ 10th loss in their last 11 games, as they have fallen out of first place in the East Division.
Friday night started a pattern of scoring early and often. Texas seemingly took charge of the game with a big seven run third inning that featured home runs from Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland. However, New York came back with four runs in the fourth to make it a game again. Both teams put a singleton on the board in the seventh inning, with the Rangers’ score coming on Fielder’s second home run of the game. That made the score 8-5. Tommy Field drove home two more in the eighth inning to seemingly put the icing on the cake at 10-5.
Instead of icing, those two runs proved to be the margin of victory as New York scored three in the bottom of the eighth and another in the ninth inning before Ross Ohlendorf recorded the 27th out of the game for a 10-9 win.
Colby Lewis was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. He pitched into the seventh inning, allowing five runs on eight hits. Sam Freeman, Tanner Scheppers and Ohlendorf finished the game, and the Yankees scored at least one run off all three relievers. Lewis (4-2) earned the win, Ohlendorf got the save, his first ever in the Major Leagues, and Michael Pineda (5-2), the Yankees’ best starting pitcher this season, took the loss.
On Saturday afternoon, the Rangers again struck in the third inning again, this time for 10 runs. Sin-Shoo Choo starting the scoring with a single that drove home Jake Smolinski and ended it with a three run home run. In between, Fielder and Elvis Andrus drove home two runs each, while Carlos Corporan and Jake Smolinski knocked in one apiece. 10 runs is the most the Rangers have scored in an inning since August 19, 2013 and ties the New York Mets for the most runs scored in an inning this season.
As written here many times previously, when Nick Martinez pitches, the Rangers score runs and win. Martinez of course was Saturday’s starting pitcher. He completed seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits to run his record to 4-0, as he makes a push for the All-Star team. The outing lowered his ERA to 1.96.
CC Sabathia was once the Yankees ace, but he’s an ace no more. Texas knocked him out of the game in the big third inning. He gave up six of the runs on seven hits and a walk. The loss dropped his record to 2-6. Esmil Rogers gave up seven runs in relief of Sabathia.
The Rangers added five more runs for the 15-4 final score, as Yankees’ outfielder Garrett Jones even saw action on the mound. Fielder hit his eighth home run and ran his RBI total to 30 with the three he drove in Saturday.
Sunday’s game was more closely played. Texas scored one in the first, while New York came back with two runs in their half of the first for the only lead they held in the series. Adam Rosales took the lead back for the Rangers with a two run home run in the second to make the score 3-2. The Rangers added two more in the seventh to extend the lead to 5-2.
Yovani Gallardo started and completed six innings. He allowed two runs on four hits, walking one and striking out six. It was his fifth quality start, and his record improved to 4-6. Three Ranger relievers zipped the Yankees over the final three innings, with Shawn Tolleson pitching the ninth inning for the save, his third of the week and of his career.
Chris Capuano was New York’s losing pitcher. He’s 0-2 on the year.
Texas finished the week with a 21-23 record, good enough for third place in the West. They are 7.5 games behind the first place Astros and one game behind the second place Angels. They are six games ahead of last place Oakland (seven in the loss column) and one-half game ahead of fourth place Seattle.
The Rangers’ road trip concludes with three games in Cleveland beginning Monday afternoon. The announced starting pitchers are Phil Klein (1-0) Monday, Wandy Rodriguez (2-2) Tuesday, and Colby Lewis (4-2) on Wednesday. Cleveland counters with Shaun Marcum (1-0), Danny Salazar (5-1) and Carlos Carrasco (5-4). The Monday and Wednesday games are day games, and the Rangers are 5-6 in day games this season. Josh Hamilton will join the Rangers on Monday after hitting .364 (16-44) with a home run and six RBIs in 12 minor league rehab games with AAA Round Rock and AA Frisco.
* Texas now leads the Major Leagues with 15 road wins.
* After Saturday’s outing, Nick Martinez has made 15 consecutive starts in which he has allowed three earned runs or less. That ties the club record held by Rich Hand, who accomplished it in 1972.
* The Rangers have hit at least one home run in nine straight games.
* The Yankees retired Bernie Williams’s number 51 in ceremonies prior to Sunday’s game. There is now a Bernie Williams monument in Monument Park.
* Texas is 18-22 all time on Memorial Day.
* Jeff Banister said before Sunday’s game that Delino DeShields, Jr. is an option to play second base only in an emergency situation.