Yanks fail to post first three-game win streak this season

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chris Young remembered being at Yankee Stadium for Game 5 of the 2001 World Series. Only now he was on the mound, not looking down from the stands.

"I didn't get caught up in it," Young said. "It's another mound for me."

The big rookie kept New York off-balance in his first start against the Yankees, outpitching Kevin Brown and leading the Texas Rangers to a 5-3 victory Friday night.

Perplexing the Yankees with a 72 mph breaking ball on a chilly night, Young (2-1) prevented New York from extending a winning streak to three for the first time this season. A 6-foot-10 former All-Ivy basketball player at Princeton, Young allowed three runs or more in each of his three previous starts this year.

But New York's only run off the 25-year-old right-hander came on Hideki Matsui's RBI double in the fourth. Young then struck out Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Tino Martinez and wound up allowing four hits in 5 2/3 innings with a career-high seven strikeouts and two walks.

"He's tall. He's got a good fastball. He's deceptive," New York's John Flaherty said. "He throws hard, and the ball is on top of you. And the curveball comes at you at the same angle."

Young said he tried hard not to get caught up in the history and tradition of Yankee Stadium. When he attended the World Series game four years ago, New York got a tying home run with two outs in the ninth for the second straight night against Arizona. He recalled the chants for Paul O'Neill, who was playing his final home game.

"Maybe the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life," Young said. "It was awesome."

After Young came out, four relievers finished, with Nick Regilio
throwing a called third strike past Rodriguez with two on to end the eighth.

Francisco Cordero got two outs for his major league-leading eighth save, giving up an RBI double to pinch-hitter Jorge Posada
before striking out Derek Jeter and retiring Bernie Williams on an easy fly to end it.

It took all of seven pitches for the home crowd to start booing Brown (0-2), who gave up four runs in the first inning against his former team.

"They're not beating me up any more than what I'm saying to myself right now," he said.

After starting the season on the disabled list because of his perpetually bad back, Brown gave up two first-inning runs last Friday at Baltimore and then four more in the second.

Yankees manager Joe Torre thought Brown overthrew the ball in the first inning against Texas, leaving the ball up in the strike zone.

"He was all over the place," Torre said. "He was firing away. He didn't have the command."

Brown, who has lost five straight starts and seven of his last eight, managed to lower his ERA from 9.00 to 8.25, which isn't even the highest among Yankees starters -- Jaret Wright is at 10.05. Brown allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings, with New York's defense limiting the damage by turning two double plays.

Former Yankee Alfonso Soriano led off the game with a single, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Hank Blalock singled on Brown's seventh pitch. Michael Young walked and David Dellucci, yet another former Yankee, hit a one-out double down the right field line that scored two runs.

Brown had already thrown 24 pitches and gotten just one out when pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre visited the mound. Brown retired Kevin Mench on a fly to deep left but then gave up an RBI single to Gary Matthews Jr. that put Texas ahead 4-0.

Mench added an RBI double in the third. He also threw out Tony Womack at the plate when he tried to score from second in the fifth inning on Williams' two-out single to left.

"It's hard to be anything but disappointed," Brown said.

Game notes
Yankees vice president Billy Connors was in town, evaluating New York's struggling pitchers before scouting the Double-A Trenton farm team. ... Matthews, starting in place of Richard Hidalgo, had three hits. ... Wright has been working on making adjustments to prevent himself from flying open during his delivery. ... Left-hander Mike Stanton relieved Brown and struck out all four batters he faced before Paul Quantrill came in. ... With both New York teams at home, the Yankees drew 42,710 and the Mets 28,488. ... It was 49 degrees at gametime.