Rapid Reaction: Yankees 5, Rangers 2
NEW YORK -- The Yankees took Game 2, thanks to homers from Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira. The Rangers' offense didn't do much of Freddy Garcia and the loss sets up the rubber match on Sunday. Some quick thoughts (more from the clubhouse shortly):
* Give Derek Holland some credit. After command issues early, he really settled down and got through 7 2/3 innings. The box score may not look great, but Holland didn't let the game get away early, showed some composure and hung in. Yorvit Torrealba deserves a big assist for that.
* Despite 100 pitches through seven, Holland went back out for the eighth down 3-2 and couldn't keep it a one-run game. Mark Teixeira singled and after throwing a great slider to strike out Eric Chavez (who came in late for Alex Rodriguez (left with lower back and oblique stiffness), Holland was one out from ending the inning. But a 2-1 pitch to Robinson Cano was blasted off the foul pole in right to make it 5-2. Holland threw 118 pitches, tying his career high (July 30, 2009 vs. Seattle).
* Proof baseball is a game of inches: Cano's long ball hit the foul pole, Adrian Beltre's long fly ball in the eighth missed it foul by inches. Beltre ended up hitting into a double play to end a rally in the eighth.
* The offense didn't put anything on the board until that eighth inning. And two Rangers really struggling right now -- Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus -- were the catalysts. Kinsler worked a walk after Mitch Moreland doubled and moved over to third on Julio Borbon's ground out. Andrus then hit a single to right to score Moreland. Michael Young's squibbler between the mound and third base allowed Andrus to score and all of a sudden a 3-0 game became 3-2. The inning ended on Beltre's ground ball double play.
* Holland struggled in the first inning in the chilly Yankee Stadium weather on Saturday afternoon. He threw first-pitch balls to four of the five batters he faced in the first. He went 3-2 on Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez and gave up a single, homer and walk, respectively.
* The Swisher at-bat really hurt Holland in the first. He threw two 94 mph fastballs for strikes and then couldn't locate with his slider, going to 3-2 before giving up the hit. Those are the kind of at-bats Holland needs to finish off.
* Holland picked up where Matt Harrison left off on double plays, getting one to end the first inning. After Teixeira's home run to right -- just his third hit as a right-handed batter, but second homer on that side -- Holland walked A-Rod, but got Robinson Cano to hit into a double play, the seventh in 10 innings of the series for Texas at that point.
* Rangers gave up a chance to get at least one run back in the top of the second. Adrian Beltre singled and Nelson Cruz walked with no outs, but David Murphy, Yorvit Torrealba and Mitch Moreland couldn't get a run home.
* After a leadoff walk (on four pitches) to Jeter and a double from Swisher (David Murphy hesitated before throwing the ball back and Swisher alertly kept running), Holland was able to bear down and limit the damage to one run. He got Alex Rodriguez to ground out on a changeup and threw a good 0-2 pitch to Robinson Cano to strike him out and end the inning.
* The Rangers couldn't take advantage of a few chances early off Garcia. David Murphy led off the fifth with a nice at-bat and a single, but three straight outs by the bottom of the order ended any chance to chip away at the deficit.
* Mitch Moreland remains patient and productive at the plate of late. He's batting .345 (10-for-29) over his last nine games to get his average up around .300. He had a double off Rafael Soriano in the ninth.
* Michael Young was charged with an error on Andruw Jones' ground ball back to Holland in the eighth. Holland, though, waited and then threw a missile to Young, who couldn't keep it in his glove. That was Holland's final batter.
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