Borbon and the Rangers won out after manager Ron Washington gave the signal the speedy center fielder wanted.
With Mitch Moreland running toward home plate on a 1-1 pitch in the sixth inning, Borbon laid down the squeeze bunt that broke the tie and the Rangers went on to a 7-5 victory Saturday night after blowing an early five-run lead.
"Right before I went up to the on-deck circle and I knew the situation, I gave [Washington] a heads-up," Borbon said. "And he just smiled at me."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi visited the mound, not to make a pitching change but expecting such a play and setting up his defense for it. Borbon had done it to them last season when Texas went on to win its first American League pennant.
"Absolutely. That's why I went to the mound, to try to prepare for it. They had to execute. It's a gutsy call with nobody out, and they executed," Girardi said. "There's nothing you can do. Last year they executed a safety squeeze. This was just a squeeze."
Borbon almost beat the throw to first after Moreland scored to make it 6-5.
"I got a little bit of a slow start, but I got there. I scored," Moreland said with a smile.
Michael Young added an RBI single, his fourth hit, later in the inning.
Young homered and Borbon had a two-run triple as the Rangers built a 5-0 lead after two innings off Bartolo Colon.
Arthur Rhodes (1-1), the third of five Texas pitchers, struck out the only two batters he faced. Neftali Feliz worked the ninth for his sixth save in as many chances. It was his first since returning Friday from a disabled-list stint for shoulder inflammation.
Rangers starter Derek Holland was pitching with two outs and nobody on base in third, when everything started coming apart for the left-hander.
Derek Jeter, playing his major league-record 2,303rd game at shortstop for the same team, doubled high off the left-field wall and Curtis Granderson walked before Mark Teixeira drove in a run with a bloop single to center. Alex Rodriguez then drew a walk to load the bases before Robinson Cano's triple got the Yankees within 5-4.
Cano hit a ball into the left-center gap and center fielder Borbon made an ill-advised diving attempt -- coming up several feet short of getting a glove on the ball that bounced past him toward the wall.
Holland's shortest start of the season was done after his second consecutive leadoff walk to Jorge Posada, a .149 hitter batting eighth, to start the fourth. Holland walked five in his three-plus innings.
Young's solo shot in the first barely cleared the 14-foot wall in left for his first homer at home since last Aug. 15, a stretch of 35 games, and his second this season. His 21st career four-hit game pushed his AL-leading hits total to 47.
"Our record isn't what we want right now but I'm proud of the way our team's battling," Young said after Texas won for only the second time in seven games. "We taking a good team approach offensively right now. If we keep doing that we're going to be fine. ... Personally, I feel fine, but never satisfied."
David Murphy led off the second with a ball that skimmed over the top of the 8-foot wall in right. Borbon's triple into the right-center gap came after Moreland singled and Davis walked. Ian Kinsler's sacrifice fly made it 5-0.
"[Colon] was just in the middle of the plate more. He didn't have his great stuff and that's going to happen from time to time," Girardi said. "This is a good hitting team and if you miss in the middle, they're going to hurt you."
Jeter entered the game tied with Cal Ripken Jr. for the most games at shortstop with one team. Jeter had two hits and his 2,956 match Willie Keeler for 30th on baseball's career list. ... Colon, in his 28th career start against Texas, gave up five runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. ... After four consecutive games with no players having multihit games, the Rangers had four Saturday night (Young, Murphy, Moreland, Borbon). ... Cano was robbed of a hit in the second when he was thrown out by Young, who in his seventh start at second base this season went up the middle to field a short-hopper and then made a quick throw to first. ... The Yankees on Sunday wrap up a stretch of 16 games in 16 days before a day off. They are 8-7 in that span.