The Yankees won a rain-shortened 2-1 4.5 inning game against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. The game was official because the Rangers had finished batting in the fifth inning. It was the fifth win in six games for the Yankees since the All-Star break ended. The Yankees have now won two dramatic games in a row as Chase Headley hit a walk-off single in the 14th inning on Tuesday.
The rain delay started at 8:46 and the game was not called until 10:35. The grounds crew had trouble getting the tarp on the field because the severe storm came on all of a sudden, which caused the infield to not be playable when the rain stopped. After allowing one run and three strikeouts in five innings, David Phelps has now impressively allowed two runs or less in each of his last five starts.
(I felt) good,” Phelps said. “I thought my command was pretty good. I stayed away from the middle of the plate for the most part.” Since before his two runs or less streak began on June 24, he has lowered his ERA from a mediocre 4.35 to a much more respectable 3.77. He was able to out pitch rangers starter Yu Darvish, whose 2.92 ERA is ninth in the American League.
Darvish, who is in his third season with the Rangers since coming over from Japan, allowed both of his runs in the third inning. Francisco Cervelli, who was on third after hitting a double and being advanced to third on Brendan Ryan’s groundout, scored on a balk by Darvish. Cervelli, who went 2-2, has given the offense a boost when he has played since he has a .379 in his last nine games.
Brett Gardner scored the Yankees second run two batters after Cervelli crossed home plate for the first run. Gardner hit his 10th homer of the season, which is his career-high and already two more than he hit all of last season.
Gardner credited his increased power to working with hitting coach Kevin Long. “Just being more aggressive, working with Kevin Long and trying to stay consistent,” Gardner said.
For Phelps, the most important out that he recorded ended up being his last one. Leonys Martin was on third base, but then Phelps was able to get Chris Gimenez to foul out to Cervelli and Rougned Odor to strikeout swinging.
On July 23, 1999, 15 years ago, Derek Jeter had a walk-off hit in extra innings against the Cleveland Indians. During Tuesday’s game, Jeter added to his long list of accomplishments by passing Lou Gehrig for sole possession of 1st place on the Yankees all-time doubles list.
Coming into the fourth game of the series, at 1:05 p.m. on Thursday, the last place Rangers have lost 26 of their past 29 games. The Yankees, who are now three games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the American League East and half a game behind the Seattle Mariners for the second Wild Card, will look to win their second series in a row.
Brandon McCarthy will pitch for the Yankees and the struggling veteran righty Colby Lewis will get the start for the Rangers. McCarthy, whose season ERA is 4.63, has an outstanding 1.96 ERA in three July starts, which includes two with the Yankees.