Thursday, August 16, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 10, Yankees 6
By Ian Begley / ESPNNY.com
The Texas Rangers avoided a sweep on Thursday with a 10-6 win in the final game of their four-game series against the New York Yankees:
WHAT IT MEANS: The Rangers offense looked lost in its first three games in the Bronx. But the Ranger bats finally woke up on Thursday. Texas put up an eye-popping 10 runs on 16 hits against the Yankees and could have done more damage. Ron Washington's club missed opportunities to score throughout the game. Fortunately for Texas, the bullpen held on through some tense moments in the seventh and eighth to seal the win.
COMING UP CLUTCH: The Rangers fell apart in the bottom of the sixth, allowing five runs on five hits and an error and losing a 4-0 lead. But they showed immediate resiliency in the seventh, plating three runs to take the lead back. David Murphy drove in Michael Young with an RBI double to tie the game at 5-5 and Craig Gentry delivered the big blow -- a two-strike, two-out, two-run single to put Texas up, 7-5.
Murphy had been hitless in his last five at-bats with runners in scoring position, but he had two hits in such situations on Thursday. The other was an RBI single in the sixth.
YOUNG FOREVER: Michael Young took a day off on Wednesday for the first time in over two months. He returned to the field looking plenty refreshed on Thursday. Young went 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored against the Yankees. He entered play Thursday with just one hit in his last 14 at-bats. One blemish: he grounded out with Elvis Andrus on third and none out in the eighth. A fly ball would have driven Andrus in.
NOT ENTIRELY DEREK'S FAULT: Derek Holland's line wasn't pretty on Thursday. He gave up five hits and five runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings. For the sixth straight start, he gave up a home run -- this time a game-tying two-run shot to Andruw Jones in the sixth.
But you could argue that Holland deserved a better fate.
He was victimized by poor fielding behind him. Derek Jeter reached second on a single when Gentry missed the cutoff man. He was then driven in on Nick Swisher's single. Holland seemed to be out of trouble later in the inning when he induced a fly ball to right from Casey McGehee, but the ball was botched by Mike Olt and McGehee ended up on second (see below). Washington then lifted Holland from the game.
UP AND DOWN DAY FOR JOSH: Josh Hamilton had two hits on Sunday but also registered two costly strikeouts. Hamilton's first punch out came with none out and the bases loaded in the third. The Rangers failed to drive in a run in the inning. His second 'K' was with one on and none out in the seventh. But Texas went on to score three runs and take the lead…. Adrian Beltre made two highlight worthy plays at third base. He also had a bases-clearing single in the first and was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.
ROOKIE MISTAKE: Olt made his first start in right field on Thursday. And his misplay in the sixth really hurt the Rangers. Olt dropped a fly ball off the bat of Casey McGehee with two out in the sixth. Had Olt made the catch, the Rangers could have escaped the inning tied with the Yankees at 4-4. But, after Holland was pulled, Russell Martin singled to center to drive in McGehee and give the Yankees a 5-4 lead.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Rangers open a three-game series against Toronto on Friday night. Righty Yu Darvish (12-8, 4.54 ERA) takes on J.A. Happ (8-10, 5.04 ERA) in the series opener.