Derek Jeter again hit a go-ahead home run and the Yankees' beleaguered bullpen made it hold up for a 6-5 victory Friday night, sending the Rangers to their fifth straight loss.
"Every out we got tonight was huge," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
With their closer and main setup man held out after a heavy workload, the Yankees relied on a different set of relievers. Felix Rodriguez, Wayne Franklin, Shawn Chacon and Tanyon Sturtze came through, combining for four scoreless innings.
"We knew we were going to have to piece it together," Sturtze said.
Rivera had it rough, too.
"It was tough standing out there. I was walking around, watching them," he said. "They definitely did the job."
A night after Jeter hit an opposite-field, tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning that beat Texas 9-8, he connected. His 14th home run of the season -- also to right, this time into the upper deck -- put the Yankees ahead 6-5 in the fourth, and that was enough.
"When I am hitting the ball the other way and up the middle, that's when I usually have pretty good swings," Jeter said. "I knew it was gone, but I didn't know it was that far."
"Our bullpen did a great job. Everyone that came in threw well," he said. "Those guys can swing the bats pretty big, one through nine, and they did an excellent job in holding them to no runs."
Al Leiter (3-3) held on through five innings for the win. Rookie C.J. Wilson (0-5) gave up Jeter's home run on his second pitch.
Texas fell to 0-5 on its season-long 13-game road trip. The Rangers have scored at least five runs in each of those defeats, and blew an early 4-1 edge in this game.
"It seems every time we score some runs, we go out there and give some up," Texas manager Buck Showalter said.
Chacon, still scheduled to start Sunday, returned to his relieving roots and pitched the eighth. He recorded 35 saves for Colorado last year, but had been used almost exclusively as a starter this season with the Rockies and Yankees.
"I felt like I was an emergency. I didn't think I was going to get in," he said. "I kind of had some flashbacks."
Sturtze pitched a perfect ninth, retiring the middle of the Texas order for his first save of the season in four chances. It was his third career save.
"I treated it like any other inning," he said.
The steamy, 89-degree evening -- and a lack of command -- took a toll on starters Chris Young and Leiter.
Young left after three innings with Texas trailing 5-4. When Leiter took the mound to begin the fifth, the game had already dragged on for 2 hours. And by the time that inning ended, there had been a whopping 247 pitches overall.
Texas tied it at 5 in the top half when Gary Matthews Jr. hustled for a triple and scored on Michael Young's single.
Jeter's homer helped keep Wilson winless in his major league career. He pitched four innings, allowing that lone run.
"It's kind of funny," Showalter said. With all the pitchers used in that game, maybe the most effective guy over a long period of time gets the loss. You figure that out."
Bernie Williams' two-out, two-run homer capped a four-run burst that put the Yankees ahead 5-4 in the third.
Alfonso Soriano hit his 28th home run in the top half, giving Texas a 4-1 lead. The solo shot was his fourth career homer against his former team.
Soriano's leadoff single started a three-run second. Gary Matthews Jr. drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs and Michael Young followed with a grounder to shortstop that Jeter bobbled. Jeter compounded the mistake by rushing a wide throw to second -- he was charged with a rare double-error, and two runs scored.
- Texas has lost a season-high six in a row on the road.
- With 13 errors, Jeter matched his total from last season, when he won his first Gold Glove.
- The Yankees played their fifth straight one-run decision. They're 3-2 in that span.
- Soriano has a 12-game hitting streak.
- Tino Martinez extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.