Thursday, July 25, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 2, Rangers 0
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers' record fell to 0-37 when trailing after eight innings as they couldn't rally against the New York Yankees on Thursday afternoon, falling 2-0 on a scorching hot day at Rangers Ballpark.
Holland beats the heat:Derek Holland wasn't impacted at all by a 95-degree day at Rangers Ballpark. He pitched into the eighth inning for the fifth time in 21 starts, allowing two runs on eight hits. Holland has been sensational this season against the Yankees. He had complete game 2-0 victory against the Bronx Bombers on June 26, but was on the wrong end of a shutout Thursday.
Kuroda flourishes: The Rangers couldn't come up with the big hit against Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, continuing a season-long trend on offense. The Rangers didn't have a lot of chances against Kuroda and finished the game 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Kuroda improved to 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA for July.
The Rangers presented Mariano Rivera Rivera with a black cowboy hat and custom-made boots with the Yankees logo and his jersey No. 42 on the back in a pregame ceremony.
Pounding the zone: Manager Ron Washington said after Wednesday's game that new Ranger Matt Garza pounded the strike zone with a vengance, throwing 70 percent of his pitches for strikes. Holland, who hasn't been shy of pitching to contact this season, followed Garza's lead. Holland threw 70 of his 94 pitches for strikes. That's a 75 percent clip.
Rivera closes door: In his final game at Rangers Ballpark -- unless he's back in the playoffs -- Mariano Rivera picked up a save against the Rangers. It was his 33rd this season, pushing his all-time saves record to 641.
Sixth-inning blues: The Rangers had two singles and a walk in the bottom of the sixth and didn't score. Ian Kinsler opened the inning with a single, but was out at second base on a hit-and-run with Elvis Andrus that didn't work. Andrus couldn't get the bat on a sinker and Kinsler was caught stealing. Andrus followed with an infield single and Nelson Cruz had a nine-pitch walk that appeared to have Kuroda on the ropes on this hot day. But Adrian Beltre flied out to center field and A.J. Pierzynski was robbed of a hit on a sliding catch by Arlington native Vernon Wells in left field.
Big break: The Rangers caught a huge break in the top of the seventh when Yankees catcher Austin Romine's shot to center field hopped over the fence for a ground-rule double. With two outs, David Adams, who was running from first base, would have scored easily but had to stop at third. Ichiro Suzuki followed by grounding out to shortstop to end the threat and keep the score at 1-0. There had been three ground-rule doubles in 51 games at Rangers Ballpark entering the game. The Yankees had two in the span of three innings Thursday.
Up next: The Rangers leave Texas for three days for a weekend series at Cleveland. Left-hander Martin Perez (3-3, 3.40 ERA) gets things started Friday night against Indians right-hander Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.69) at 7:05 p.m. on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM. The rest of the series sets up with right-hander Yu Darvish (9-4, 2.86) facing Tribe right-hander Justin Masterson (11-7, 3.60) at 6:05 p.m. Saturday, and right-hander Alexi Ogando (4-2, 3.13) going up against right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4, 4.49) at 12:05 p.m. Sunday. Both games will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest and broadcast on the radio on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM.