The Yankees beat the Texas Rangers in an offensive slugfest, 12-11, in the second game of the series in Arlington, Texas. They will look to win the series in Wednesday’s game as Hiroki Kuroda, the only remaining starter who began the season in the rotation, will be pitching against the struggling Colby Lewis (6-8, 6.23 ERA).
Brandon McCarthy did not pitch as well as he did in his first three starts with the Yankees, as he gave up four runs in six innings, but he was still able to get third win in four starts because the Yankees were winning 8-4 when he left the game. It appeared that the Bronx Bombers were on track to a relatively uneventful win, but they ended up getting a win that was not secure until the last out of the ninth inning because of an unusually shaky bullpen.
The Yankees scored seven runs in the sixth inning, which appeared to give them control of the game. Carlos Beltran, who is now on a six-game hitting streak and has driven in six runs in those games, hit a single to drive in Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter. Brian McCann’s sacrifice fly scored Mark Teixeira. After Chase Headley walked, Zoilo Almonte’s single sent Beltran home. Brendan Ryan hit a two-run double and would later score on an Alex Rios error with Gardner batting to give the Yankees a 8-4 lead.
Adam Warren loaded the bases in the seventh after two walks and a single. Then, Dellin Betances came into the game, and gave up a grand slam to J.P. Arencibia. Three of those runs were charged to Warren. That was Arencibia’s seventh RBI of the game, and before the game he only had 15 RBIs and a .152 average.
The bullpen combined to allow seven earned runs, and the Yankees would not have won without Mark Teixeira’s homer to left that drove in Gardner in the eighth inning. Joe Girardi said it was great to escape with a win considering all of the scoring that happened.
“It is a strange game,” Girardi said. “But it is great to get out of here with a win, it would have been a really difficult one to lose. We struggled the last few innings getting outs, but in the end, we got the last out and we won the game. I’ve seen that this can be a good hitters ballpark, and that is exactly what it was tonight.”
David Robertson allowed a two-run single with two outs in the ninth, to make the score 12-11, but he was able to get Adrian Beltre to fly out to left with the bases loaded to end the game.
“That was about as bad as you can suck and still get lucky,” Robertson said. “I just fell apart out there.” He was able to record his 27th save of the season, which is tied for second in the American League, but he finished the ninth inning with two hits, three walks and 31 pitches thrown. That will mean that he will not be available for tomorrow’s series finale.
As a result of Mark Teixeira’s return from his injury, the Yankees were able to have a more normal lineup of him playing first and Brian McCann catching. Seven different Yankees recorded a one or more hits, but a player who needs to give more offensive production is McCann. Over the last seven days, McCann is only hitting .192 with five RBIs.
Gardner has given the Yankees much more in the power department than the team could have expected. With his first inning homer, he is currently second on the squad in homers behind only Teixeira. Gardner’s 13 homers are a career high and more than power hitters on the team such as McCann and Beltran. Jacoby Ellsbury, who hit 32 homers in 2011, only has eight so far.
Gardner has gone 7-10 in the two games in Arlington to raise his average from .272 to .283. He has been getting as many steals, but Gardner’s power has helped to make up for what is lacking from others in the lineup. If the Yankees can score somewhere between the 12 runs that they scored on Tuesday and the two they scored on Monday they will be in good shape.
Based on how successful the bullpen has been all year, it seems like Tuesday’s shaky performance by Warren, Betances, Chase Whitley and Robertson should be an aberration. The Yankees improved to 55-51 with the win, and they are two games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the second Wild Card.