Entering an important week for the New York Yankees, playing six games against last place ball clubs with the trading deadline mixed in, the Bombers' road trip did not get off to a great start. After taking an early 2-0 lead against starter Yu Darvish, the Rangers came back to score four runs in the 5th, which was all they needed in a 4-2 win over the Yanks on Monday night in Arlington.
Let's get the positive note out of the way: with three hits tonight, Derek Jeter reached 3,420 career hits, which put him ahead of Carl Yastrzemski for 7th on the all-time hits list. So congrats to Jeter.
The Yankees collected 11 hits in the game, but only managed to score two runs, and they might not have done that if Brett Gardner wasn't in the lineup for them to face Darvish, who in case you haven't heard is owned by Gardner, who has four career hits against the Japanese ace -- all four homerun, including two on Monday.
Both solo homeruns, the first put the Yankees up 1-0 in the 3rd inning on a shot to right field. The second, which came in the 5th, was a blast to center field, putting the Bombers up 2-0, giving David Phelps a decent, but not great lead to work with.
Phelps was cruising along nicely through the first four inning, throwing just 55 pitches. Phelps had only given up three hits before reaching the 5th, where things got ugly.
Chris Gimenez opened the inning with a single before Phelps retired the next two hitters, making it seem like it would be another short inning. However, Gimenez had moved to second on a grounded, then scored on a Elvis Andrus double to put the Rangers on the board. Alex Rios, who the Yankees have looked at, singled a batter later to put runners on the corners, then Adrian Beltre doubled to score Andrus as the tying run. Phelps walked Jim Adduci to load the bases, then JP Arencibia drove in Beltran and Rios on a singles to put the Rangers up 4-2. All of that with two outs.
The nightmare inning for Phelps finally ended a batter later, and he followed up with scoreless 6th inning to finish off his night, in which he was charged with four runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three on 96 pitches (66 strikes).
His counterpart, Darvish, was not overly phased by the two Gardner homeruns. He still managed to get through seven innings, giving up just the two runs on seven hits, with a walk and eight strikeouts.
After Phelps, Shawn Kelley came out of the bullpen for Joe Girardi, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits. And then Matt Thornton was called upon to get the final out of the 8th, which he did by striking out Rougned Odor.
Some game notes: Brian McCann was at first base yet again with Mark Teixeira out, and all I can say is that the Yankees are far better defensively with Teixeira at first ..... speaking of Teixeira, he came off of the bench to pinch-hit in the 8th inning for Brian Roberts and singled to left field in the at-bat; I'd have to guess that Tex will be in the lineup on Tuesday ..... Gardner and Jeter at the top of the lineup tonight: 6-for-9 with three extra-base hits and no strikeouts, while the rest of the lineup: 5-for-28 with no extra-base hits and eight strikeouts.
The Yankees and Rangers continue this three game series on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Brandon McCarthy will be on the mound for the Bombers, while the Rangers will counter with right-hander Nick Martinez.
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)