NEW YORK -- There's no surprise Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera played key roles in the New York Yankees' victory.
But Scott Proctor filled a void better than anyone could have expected.
Jeter hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning after the Yankees bullpen blew a strong spot start by Proctor, and Rivera shut down one last Texas Rangers rally in a 9-8 win Thursday night.
Proctor was making his first big-league start in place of Randy Johnson, who was skipped because of a bad back, and held Texas to three hits -- two on solo homers to David Dellucci -- before leaving with a 6-2 lead after five-plus innings.
"He did a magnificent job," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "He was the star of the night for me."
But the Yankees' weak middle-inning relievers let the Rangers back in the game. Trailing 8-4 in the seventh, Texas scored four runs off Felix Rodriguez and Tanyon Sturtze (4-1), who gave up a tying three-run home run to Michael Young.
In the bottom half, Jeter hit a 2-0 fastball from James Baldwin (0-2) to give the Yankees the lead.
"I got ahead in the count so I was trying to drive it," Jeter said. "The ball was carrying pretty good."
Texas loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against Tom Gordon and Torre reluctantly summoned Rivera, who pitched two innings Wednesday.
"This was a panic move," Torre said jokingly.
After falling behind 3-1, Rivera got Dellucci to foul out to end the inning.
"It's not the first time anyone has been in that situation facing Rivera," Texas manager Buck Showalter said.
Rivera then finished for his 31st consecutive save, the longest streak of his career.
The Yankees moved within five games of the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox. Texas matched a season-high with its fifth straight road loss.
New York trailed 2-0 in the third after Dellucci homered in his first two at-bats. Dellucci tied a career high with four hits and scored four runs.
The Yankees closed to 2-1 on Hideki Matsui's RBI single in the bottom of the third and went ahead on Robinson Cano's two-run double in the fourth.
Matsui's leadoff homer -- his 18th of the season -- in the fifth inning made it 4-2, chasing John Wasdin.
Reliever Erasmo Ramirez hit Jason Giambi with a pitch and Jorge Posada followed with a two-run homer to deep left-center to make it 6-2.
Wasdin, making his seventh start of the year, allowed four runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Dellucci's home run leading off the game was Texas' first homer in four games. The Rangers have 192 home runs, most in the majors. It was Dellucci's third multihomer game this season and sixth in his career.
Texas scored twice in the sixth inning. Alan Embree relieved Proctor with Rod Barajas on first. Embree relieved and allowed an RBI double by Young and a run-scoring groundout by Mark Teixeira.
Proctor gave up three runs and struck out three without walking a batter.
The Yankees made it 8-4 on a throwing error by Young and a sacrifice fly by Tino Martinez in the bottom half.
Felix Rodriguez gave up an RBI single to Rod Barajas to make it 8-5. After Dellucci doubled, Sturtze entered and Young greeted him with a three-run homer to tie it.