Freddy Garcia continues to be a reliable starter for the Yankees, winning his fifth game since re-entering the rotation. (Image: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE)

Yankees take third straight from Rangers; looking for sweep today

The New York Yankees are on a roll and it’s their pitching doing most of the leg work. Freddy Garcia continues to be reliable, if not better, than some of his younger cohorts. He tossed 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball, both runs off Josh Hamilton homers, as the Yankees have won the seven of their last eight games.

Garcia allowed only two other hits during his outing, walked one and struck out six. He is 5-4 with a 3.69 ERA since taking over Andy Pettitte‘s rotation spot.

After a nearly two-hour rain delay, both pitchers were fairly sharp to begin the game. The Yankees would strike first in the bottom half of the third inning. Jayson Nix, playing second base for Robinson Cano who was out with a stiff neck, reached on an infield single and then stole second. Derek Jeter extended his hit streak to 11 games with a single moving Nix to third. Nick Swisher delivered a run-scoring double to put the Yanks on the board. Curtis Granderson hit a sac fly to bring in Jeter. Eric Chavez singled in Swisher to finish off the scoring. Chavez went 3-for-3 in the game and is hitting .514 over his last 11 games.

The 3-0 lead lasted a short time as Garcia coughed up a solo homer to Josh Hamilton in the top of the fourth and later stranded the bases loaded in the inning with a ground ball double play. Hamilton would deliver another solo shot in the sixth, the only true blemishes on Garcia’s line. The bullpen combination of Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano shut down the Rangers over the last 2 1/3 innings. Soriano notched his 29th save of the season.

The Yankees became the first American League team to reach 70 wins on the season. They were also able to maintain a six-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. The Rangers slipped to 67-49 and are now 2 1/2 games back of the Yankees for the best record in the AL. The Rangers are six up in the AL West over both the Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Angels.

In this afternoon’s series finale, the Yankees turn to Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.70 ERA) while the Rangers are hoping that Derek Holland (7-6, 4.92 ERA) can stop the bleeding. Both Nova and Holland are coming off strong starts in their last appearances.

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Tags: Andy Pettitte Boone Logan Curtis Granderson David Robertson Derek Holland Derek Jeter Eric Chavez Freddy Garcia Ivan Nova Jayson Nix Josh Hamilton New York Yankees Nick Swisher Rafael Soriano Robinson Cano Scott Feldman Texas Rangers Yankees

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