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Reax: Cliff Lee, the bullpen and the heat

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cliff Lee admitted that Wednesday was the hottest he's been on a mound. The Rangers' ace went 6 1/3 innings, tied for his shortest outing of the season, and appeared to run out of gas a bit late in his start. The outing ended his string of 10 consecutive starts with 8 or more innings.

"That's part of playing in Texas, you've got to figure out how to deal with the heat," Lee said. "It was definitely a hot one, but it was hot for both sides. That's an excuse. I'm not going to sit here and make excuses. It was a even playing field and both teams had to deal with it. You can't change the weather, you can't change the environment. It is what it is and you have to deal with it."

Lee gave up four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and, of course, no walks. The bullpen, which has been saved by so many of his long starts this season, couldn't get the job done for him. They needed 72 pitches to get the final eight outs as Frank Francisco allowed a run in the eighth and Neftali Feliz gave up two in the ninth.

Lee said he was still making pitches late, but they weren't located as well as he would have liked.

Other reaction/notes:

* Lee said he started missing his spots in the last couple of innings and the Yankees "made me pay for it." He went to his curve and changeup earlier on Wednesday than he has in an effort to mix things up.

"I've been throwing a lot of fastballs and I figured they were going to come out aggressive and I planned on using my off-speed a little more early," Lee said. "They made me work. They made me throw a lot of pitches. They had some good at-bats and got me out of the game in 7th. You have tip your hat to them."

* Manager Ron Washington was asked about having Cristian Guzman in the game late defensively. "Guzman is a major league second baseman, but he just didn't come up with it," Washington said, referring to the ball Derek Jeter hit in the ninth against a drawn-in infield.

* Texas has lost seven times when leading after eight full innings this season (53-7). Five of those defeats have come at home.

* Ranger pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts on Wednesday, the most since the staff had 18 strikeouts on July 25, 1989 vs. Toronto.

* Michael Young has homered in four of his last nine games and 14 of his 17 homers have come at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

* Darren O'Day has now had 28 consecutive scoreless relief appearances to extend a club record.

* Darren Oliver stranded two inherited runners on Wednesday. He's now stranded 26 of 32 inherited runners in 2010.

* Feliz was charged with his first blown save since May 11 vs. Oakland. That ends a streak of 20 straight saves, the second-longest streak in club history.