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Thursday, August 16, 2012
Notes: Jones strikes back after losing ball

By Matt Ehalt

Andruw Jones lost his battle with the sun.

In the sixth inning, Josh Hamilton hit a fly right at Jones, but the left fielder lost the ball in the sun, falling to the ground as the ball landed for a ground rule double. That double started what would be a two-run inning in an eventual 10-6 win for Texas.

Andruw Jones
Andruw Jones rounds the bases after his two-run homer.
"I've been in the sun here before. It managed to come out," Jones said. "That ball was out and it kept going right into it. Around that time of the game the sun is not going to move from that spot. You can make plays but he hit it perfect right into the sun. There's nothing I can do."

Jones said the sun is tough for left fielders at Yankee Stadium and seemed resigned to the fact that there wasn't much he could do once he lost the ball. Had he recorded that out, it would perhaps have prevented Texas from scoring a pair and knocking starter Ivan Nova out the game.

Jones made up for the play with a two-run shot in the sixth that tied the game at 4-4. He went 1-for-4 and snapped an 48 at-bat homerless stretch with his round-tripper.

"I was a little heated because I don't like to make mistakes," Jones said. "Especially in the outfield. I had an opportunity to redeem myself and he made a mistake and I took advantage of it."

THREE OF FOUR: The Yankees took three of four in the series against Texas and now have the best record in the American League at 70-48.

The Yankees were 4-3 against Texas this season, winning three of four at home and losing two of three on the road. The Yankees are 11-5 against Texas over the past two seasons and 11-2 at home against the Rangers since 2010.

Manager Joe Girardi was pleased with his team's play.

"We played pretty good baseball," Girardi said. "We pitched for the most part pretty well. We swung the bats pretty well and you can't rest on what's happened the last four days. You have to keep plugging along here because we're still in a race and in a race in our division and for the best record. I do like the way we played and let's hope it carries over to this weekend."

ENTER BOSTON: The Red Sox head to Yankee Stadium with their season on life support. That doesn't mean the Yankees aren't cautious about facing them.

"They talked about that last time they were here and they took two of three in three one-run games," Girardi said of Boston being in disarray. "We know how potent that team can be and we need to win games."

NOTES: Curtis Granderson received a routine day off but pinch-hit and grounded out to end the game. He's played in 117 of the team's 118 games. ... Derek Jeter (2-for-5) has hit in 12 straight games and is batting .395 over his past 17 games. ... Ichiro Suzuki (3-for-3) is hitting .500 over his past eight games. ... Nick Swisher has scored and drove in at least one run in five straight games, the longest streak since Alex Rodriguez did it in 2008.