The visiting Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees completed their four-game stanza Thursday afternoon at the Stadium in the Bronx. Yankees’ starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy resumed right where he left off against the Cincinnati Reds in his last start, mowing through the Rangers’ lineup like butter in the opening frame. As our insider, Scott Alfano discussed with the editors yesterday, McCarthy has added back in his cut-fastball, a pitch that his former team, the Diamondbacks, discouraged from using. McCarthy was topping 94 MPH in the first inning, striking out a pair.
For the Yankees, Captain Derek Jeter was given the day off, as Brendan Ryan was inserted into the 9-hole in the Bombers lineup. They faced Rangers’ starter Colby Lewis, who found controversy his last time out, as he criticized Blue Jays’ outfielder Colby Rasmus for bunting on him against the shift. The Yankees were looking to take three of four from the visitors, and start the second half with a 6-1 record, climbing right back into both the AL East hunt and the Wild Card race.
Each pitcher made it through the first two innings without issue, but McCarthy was the first to blink in the Rangers’ top half of the third inning. A walk, a double play, and three straight singles, highlighted by an RBI bloop from Elvis Andrus put the Rangers up early 1-0. McCarthy worked out of any further trouble by getting a fly out from Alex Rios.
The Yankees evened things up in the bottom of the fourth, as Brett Gardner led off the inning with a left field line-hugging double. He finished the day 1-for-3, but scored a run, had the double, and an RBI sac fly. Once again, a Brian Cashman trade is paying off immediately for the Yankees, as newcomer Chase Headley drove in Gardner with an RBI double over Rios’ head in right. The Yankees weren’t able to do any more damage, and the score remained tied at the end of 4 innings.
McCarthy came back and dodged some trouble in the 5th, giving up a double to Roughned Odor, and a walk to Shin-Soo Choo. No runs were given up, and the Yankees took the lead when they came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. After a lead-off walk to Ichiro Suzuki, Francisco Cervelli slammed an RBI double, putting the Yankees up 2-1. Brendan Ryan then sacrificed Ceverlli to third base, and Jacob Ellsbury drew a walk. That set up a Brett Gardner deep sac fly to bring home Cervelli, as the Yanks added another run, making it 3-1. Jacoby Ellsbury got into scoring position by stealing his 28th base of the season. Carlos Beltran followed that up with a walk of his own. The inning ended on a short fly ball by Brian McCann, as Choo almost dropped the ball, but secured it for the final out of the inning.
The Rangers pulled within one, after Adam Warren replaced McCarthy in the top of the 7th. J.P. Arencibia took a hanging slider deep over the left field wall, making it a 3-2 game. For McCarthy, he pitched another stellar game for the Bombers, going 6 innings, allowing 1 earned run, while striking out 5, and walking a pair. Warren didn’t allow any further damage, and after 2/3 of an inning, Joe Girardi replaced him with lefty Matt Thornton. Thornton then retired Odor on a pop up to Headley to end the inning. Lewis finished his day, tossing 6 1/3 innings, allowing 3 earned runs, on 4 hits, walking 3, and striking out 2. He was relieved by Ryan Feierabend, who went an inning, allowing one run, on 2 hits.
Dellin Betances came on in the top half of the 8th inning, and slammed the door on the Rangers, as he as with opponents all season long. In the bottom half of the 8th, Carlos Beltran led off with a single. The Bombers tacked on their fourth run of the game, as Brian McCann doubled to the left field gap, scoring Beltran from first. Roman Mendez relieved Feierabend to retire the final hitter of the inning.
David Robertson came on in the 9th inning, and retired the Rangers without threat, other than a 1-out walk, for his 25th save of the season. The Yankees return to action tomorrow against the Toronto Blue Jays, as Mark Buehrle (10-6, 2.86 ERA) takes on Hiroki Kuroda (6-6, 3.88 ERA) in the first game of the weekend series. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. ET.