ARLINGTON, Tx.—The Yankees came to Ranger Ballpark in Arlington to prove to the Texas Rangers that they were merely the stepping-stones to the playoffs. The Yankees have been the nemesis of the Rangers since professional baseball came to the Dallas area. The Rangers had lost 10 straight home games to the Yankees, their last victory being July 19, 2005.
Poor pitching has been the problem confronting the Rangers for the last decade. This year has been no exception. Vicente Padilla, the best starter the Ranger have, started Game 1 against the Yankees on Monday. Six innings, four earned runs, and two balks in the same inning set the pattern for what appeared to be the Rangers’ demise.
Then came the magic for the 33,813 fans at Ranger Ballpark, after many had left early to escape the late night Texas weather inferno. With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Marlon Byrd belted a grand slam that gave the Rangers a 9–5 win over the storied Yankees. The Texas night didn’t seem so hot now that many of us had our dreams fulfilled.
Ranger slugging continued on Tuesday during the second game of the Yankees series. Marlon Byrd continued his hitting rage finishing up with three hits in the game. The Rangers built up an 8–2 lead with impressive pitching by starter Matt Harrison.
In the 7th inning, Harrison was lifted and the Rangers sent in closer C. J. Wilson. Wilson promptly gave up an eighth-inning grand slam to Richie Sexson, after giving up two walks and hitting a batter.
When manager Ron Washington came to the mound to relieve Wilson, he casually flipped the ball to him before leaving. Washington yanked him back by the arm and made him hand him the ball, then patted Wilson on the back on the way off. Wilson shook his head as he walked to the dugout. The Rangers went on to win 8–6.
The New York Yankees defeated the Texas Rangers Wednesday night 5–3. And that wasn’t the only loss. Outfield slugger, and Rookie of the Year candidate, David Murphy, sprained his right posterior cruciate ligament after a knee-to-chest second-inning collision at home plate with new Yankee catcher Pudge Rodriquez.
Murphy may well go on the DL and could miss as many as four weeks. Ranger starter Tommy Hunter started getting beat up in the third inning. The Yankees got him for three hits in the third and all runners would eventually score. Jason Giambi led off the fourth with a home run. Derek Jeter had a run scoring double in the fifth. Michael Young of the Rangers led off the sixth with his 10th home run of the season.
Last night, the Yankees earned the split with the Rangers as Mike Mussina won a pitching duel against Scott Feldman. Mussina pitched seven scoreless innings and Bobby Abreu extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Derek Jeter had three hits and two RBIs to lead the Yanks to a 3–0 win.