WP - Jennings (2-1) LP - Aceves (3-1)
The Texas Rangers may want to send a “thank You” note to the Baltimore Orioles‘ Adam Jones. It was Jones’ line drive that knocked Joba Chamberlain out of his last start after facing only four batters. The rust was apparent last night as Chamberlain threw an ineffective four innings and the Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers 7-3.
Though the Yankees rallied from the 3-0 deficit Chamberlain put them in, Joe Girardi had to go to the bullpen early. Al Aceves had his worst outing of the season; he allowed three runs in two innings and was handed his first loss of the year. But the story of last night’s game was Chamberlain’s inability to throw strikes and the Yankees failure to take advantage of the situations handed to them later in the game.
After waiting out a 2-hour, 24 minute rain delay, Ian Kinsler led off the ball game with a drive to center that hurt the Yankees two-fold. Melky Cabrera couldn’t come up with the catch and crashed into the center field wall. Kinsler ended up with a triple and Cabrera had to leave the game with what was later determined to be a sprained shoulder.
Trouble was temporarily avoided when Alex Rodriguez made a spectacular play to nail Kinsler, who was trying to get back to third base. A-Rod moved to his left to field Michael Young’s grounder. He double pumped, and seeing Kinsler start to move down the line towards home, held on to the ball and raced Kinsler back to third. A-Rod dove and tagged Kinsler out before he could get back to the base safely.
But Chamberlain’s lack of a good fastball put him in 2-2 and 3-2 counts all night. A Nelson Cruz double and a walk to David Murphy loaded the bases. Marlon Byrd chased a pitch out of the strike zone and flicked it into right for a 2-run single. Chamberlain struck out Chris Davis to end the inning and struck out the first two hitters in the 2nd, but the handwriting was on the wall. Chamberlain walked one batter in the 2nd and two more in the third, but escaped the latter jam with a double play ball.
Davis took Chamberlain deep, for the first of his two home runs on the night, in the 4th for a 3-0 Rangers lead. The Yankees left runners in scoring position against Rangers starter Kevin Millwood in each of the first four innings. Mark Teixeira finally broke through with a solo home run in the top of the 5th and the Yankees tied things up with a pair of runs in the 6th.
Brett Gardner, who replaced Cabrera in the first, singled, stole second base and came home on Hideki Matsui’s double. One batter later, Francisco Cervelli tied the game with a single back through the middle. But the Rangers answered immediately with a run in their half of the sixth against Aceves, who had entered the game in the 5th. The right-hander hadn’t been scored upon in six straight appearances before allowing a run in the series opener on Monday, and he couldn’t work out of trouble last night.
Phil Coke didn’t help Aceves either. He came on to pitch after Kinsler and Young reached on a single and a double, respectively, in the 7th. Josh Hamilton and Murphy brought them home with productive outs for a 6-3 Texas lead. Davis put the icing on the cake when he went deep on Coke for his second long ball of the night.
The Yankees had an opportunity to break the 3-3 tie in the top of the 7th when they loaded the bases with one out. Robinson Cano and Gardner singled, and left-hander C.J. Wilson hit Matsui with a pitch. But Wilson made up for it by getting Nick Swisher to bounce into an innning ending double play.
Mark Teixeira’s home run was his 11th this month and the RBI was his 27th in May.
David Robertson pitched a scoreless inning after being recalled to replace Brian Bruney.
The finale of the series is tonight at 8:05 p.m. ET with A.J. Burnett (2-2, 5.28) facing rookie left-hander Derek Holland (1-1, 4.82), who is making his second major league start. Burnett is 0-2 with five no decisions since winning his first two starts of the year.