NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Yankees were down nine runs in the
second inning without three big boppers.
Posada hit a game-winning, two-run homer with two outs in the
ninth after withstanding a violent collision at the plate, and
Jeter helped drive New York to a 14-13 victory over the Texas
Rangers on Tuesday night -- matching the biggest comeback in Yankees
"It's hard to beat that one," manager Joe Torre said.
Jeter went 4-for-5 with a homer, four RBI and three runs. He
also threw out a runner at the plate and stole third base.
Posada knocked in five runs and dusted himself off after getting
bowled over by Mark Teixeira in the sixth.
"Right now, I feel great. Back then, I didn't feel too good
about it," Posada said. "It's the hardest I've ever got hit. I
know if I drop the ball, he would be safe. But he was not going to
get the plate. I had it blocked. I never played football in my
life, but that's what I think it feels like."
Posada connected in the bottom half off Akinori Otsuka (0-1)
after Johnny Damon reached on a bad-hop single to start the inning.
Otsuka had not allowed a home run since Arizona's Craig Counsell
took him deep on May 24, 2005.
"It had everything," Teixeira said. "It had a lot of runs. It
had good pitching, at times. It had defense. It had balls caroming
The Yankees overcame a nine-run deficit for the fourth time in
their storied history. The last time was a 12-11 win in 10 innings
against the rival Red Sox on June 26, 1987. Boston's starting
pitcher in that one was Roger Clemens.
It was the largest lead Texas has squandered in its 35-year
"To be honest, I always thought we had a chance," Jeter said.
"You try to get one back at a time. You can't get them all at
once, and that's what we did."
Hank Blalock homered and drove in four runs for the AL-West
leading Rangers, who roughed up Shawn Chacon in building their big
cushion. Teixeira had four hits and three RBI, but his hardest hit
was on Posada at the plate.
With Texas up 10-5 in the sixth, Teixeira was on first when
Blalock doubled into the left-field corner. Posada went to his
knees for Jeter's two-hop relay throw and was knocked backward by
the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Teixeira, who lowered his shoulder and
delivered a heavy blow.
Posada and his mask went flying back into plate umpire Chris
Guccione. But the All-Star catcher, who often appears to shy away
from blocking the plate after getting injured on a collision in the
minors, held onto the ball for the third out.
"He looked a little dazed, but he kept answering the questions
right," Torre said.
Trailing 9-0 in the second, the Yankees started to chip away and
the crowd of 40,757 began to sense that another stirring comeback
was brewing in the Bronx. Fans chanted "Jeter! Jeter!" after the
captain's three-run homer cut the margin to 10-8.
But this rally was particularly improbable. Missing injured
sluggers Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, New York
went ahead 11-10 when Miguel Cairo hit a two-out, two-run single
against Joaquin Benoit to cap a six-run sixth.
"Even with the guys they have out, this team can still score a
lot of runs," Teixeira said.
Wilkerson hit a two-run shot off Scott Proctor in the seventh,
putting the Rangers back in front 12-11. Jeter's bunt single set up
Posada's tying sacrifice fly in the bottom half.
The Rangers scored twice in the first and broke loose for seven
runs in the second, highlighted by Michael Young's two-run single,
Teixeira's two-run double and a three-run homer by Blalock on
reliever Aaron Small's second pitch.
Chacon was chased after getting only four outs, his shortest
start since Aug. 16, 2003, with Colorado against the Mets in New
York when he gave up eight runs in 1 1-3 innings.
This time, the right-hander yielded a season-high eight runs --
seven earned -- and six hits before being booed off the mound.
Handed a 9-0 lead in the second, John Koronka failed to last
five innings for Texas. Cairo began the comeback with an RBI single
in the second. Jeter hit a run-scoring double in the third, and
Posada's RBI single cut it to 10-3.
Posada had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Robinson Cano added
an RBI groundout.
"They lost the momentum and we were able to get it back,"
Torre said. "It was just a great game for us. It was a big lift to
let us know what we're capable of."
Batting cleanup for the first time since Oct. 2, 2004,
Posada hit his second game-ending homer. The other came on May 5,
2000, against Baltimore. ... With his 1,210th RBI, Williams passed
Hall of Famer Bill Dickey for sixth on the Yankees' career list.
Williams' 424th double tied Babe Ruth for third place. ... Damon
scored four times. ... Teixeira matched his career high for hits.
... Rookie LF Melky Cabrera had two assists for the Yankees.