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Rangers split series with Yankees after 6-2 victory

NEW YORK (AP) -- Brad Wilkerson made the most of his first series
at Yankee Stadium, working in some sightseeing before helping the
Texas Rangers get a much-needed win Thursday.

He hit a two-run homer and Vicente Padilla pitched into the
seventh inning in the Rangers' 6-2 victory over the Yankees.

Wilkerson, a six-year veteran who was acquired by Texas in the
offseason, hit three homers in his first series against the Yankees
in New York, helping the Rangers earn a split of the four-game set.

"The first day I was here, I was really excited to finally play
here," he said. "I went out early and went through monument park
and just looked around. It's really different how the ballpark is
layed out. You can see the ball really good in this ballpark and
that helped me a lot."

Kevin Mench and Rod Barajas also had two hits for the Rangers.
Padilla (4-3), whose last start was May 10 against Minnesota,
allowed two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"He had a couple of days extra rest," Rangers manager Buck
Showalter said. "I thought he was real strong, strong with his
fastball."

Yankees starter Jaret Wright (2-2) pitched well in the first six
innings but ran into trouble in the seventh when the Rangers broke
through for four runs. Mench led off with a single and Wilkerson
then hit a 2-2 pitch from Wright into the first row of the upper
deck in right for his seventh homer.

Wright hit Mark DeRosa with a pitch before he was pulled for
Scott Erickson. A walk and a sacrifice forced the Yankees to play
their infield in and Gary Matthews Jr. hit a slow roller to second
baseman Robinson Cano, who bobbled the grounder and threw the ball
past catcher Kelly Stinnett.

DeRosa and D'Angelo Jimenez scored to give Texas a 4-0 lead.
Cano's off-target throw was New York's second error of the game and
its 17th miscue in its last 11.

"It doesn't bother me because we're working at it," manager
Joe Torre said. "I mean it's something I don't expect to continue
because we certainly make it a lot tougher on the pitching staff if
we continue to give the opposition extra outs."

Johnny Damon hit a two-run single off Francisco Cordero in the
bottom half but Cordero rebounded to strike out Derek Jeter with
runners on first and second to get out of the inning.

Akinori Otsuka struck out the side in the ninth in his first
appearance since he allowed Jorge Posada's game-winning homer in
the ninth inning of New York's 14-13 win Tuesday.

The Rangers added two runs in the ninth on Barajas' third homer
of the season and Mench's RBI groundout.

New York's injury-riddled outfield took another hit in the fifth
when Bubba Crosby left the game with a strained right hamstring
after lining a single to right. Crosby is listed as day to day.

Sluggers Gary Sheffield (left wrist and hand) and Hideki Matsui
(broken left wrist) are already on the disabled list.

"It's definitely frustrating," Damon said. "We lose perhaps
two of the best outfielders in the league when Matsui and Sheffield
go down and then Bubba, ... a guy who can do all the little things
to help you win, he's down too."

Torre said the team may put Crosby on the disabled list
depending on how he feels on Friday.

Wright retired the first eight hitters he faced before Barajas
singled with two outs in the third. He worked six-plus innings,
giving up six hits and three runs.

Game notes
RHP Aaron Small will start Sunday against the New York Mets
instead of Shawn Chacon, who has a large welt called a resolving
hematoma just below the knee on the inside of his left leg, which
he got when he was hit by a batted ball last Thursday against
Boston. Chacon is only expected to miss one turn in the rotation.
... 3B Hank Blalock sat out with a stomach virus and could miss
Friday's game.... Yankees RHP Tanyon Sturtze, on the 15-day
disabled list, was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham,
Ala., to get a second opinion on his injured right shoulder.
Andrews confirmed the initial diagnosis of a small rotator cuff
tear and bursitis. Sturtze will have surgery on the shoulder next
week and could miss the rest of the season. ... Yankees RHP Carl
Pavano was not optimistic one day after he threw only nine pitches
before leaving a rehab start at Double-A Trenton because of
soreness in his right arm. He said Thursday he couldn't straighten
out his arm. ... Padilla struck out six and walked three.