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N.Y. Yankees «200510000891
Texas0010000607102

Yankees 8, Rangers 7

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- With a seven-run lead and a chance to give Mike Mussina a break, New York Yankees manager Joe Torre didn't think twice about going to his bullpen.

Then the relievers, including Mariano Rivera, almost gave the game away Friday night.

"Luckily, we had a big lead," Torre said after New York held on for an 8-7 victory at Texas, ending the Rangers' six-game winning streak.

Mussina was pulled after allowing only his third hit, a single by Kevin Mench to start the eighth on the right-hander's 86th pitch. Mench's RBI single off the fourth pitcher in the inning finally capped the six-run outburst.

"At the time, I didn't think about it either way," Mussina said about being pulled. "I'm going to throw a lot of pitches over the course of the year. Could I have thrown 10 or 12 or 15 more? Yeah, probably.

"If the guys behind me would have come in and been smooth, nobody would have thought anything of it."

It was anything but.

Aaron Small allowed three singles and three runs, facing only four batters. Kyle Farnsworth struck out Mark Teixeira with the bases loaded, then walked Phil Nevin before Rivera took over and allowed Hank Blalock's two-run single.

"When they started scoring those runs, it was like a snowball," said Alex Rodriguez, who drove in three runs against his former team. "That reminds you of two things: how much their guys can hit and how well Mussina pitched."

After Mench's RBI single, Rivera hit a batter before finally getting Rod Barajas on an inning-ending fielder's choice with the bases still loaded. Rivera worked the ninth to finish his sixth save in seven chances.

"We don't want it to go that way, but that's baseball," Rivera said. "That happens."

Mussina (5-1) threw 62 of his season-low 86 pitches for strikes for his 229th career victory, fourth most among active pitchers. He struck out five, didn't walk a batter and was charged with two runs.

"He was terrific, threw a lot of strikes, got a lot of first-pitch outs and changed speeds. I love it," Torre said. "All said and done, we won the game and didn't have to drain our horse."

Especially with Mussina scheduled to start against the Boston Red Sox next week.

Derek Jeter was 2-for-5 with two RBI and scored twice for the Yankees, who moved five games over .500 for the first time this season at 16-11.

Brad Wilkerson extended his hitting streak to eight games with a leadoff triple in the third over Johnny Damon's head in center field. Wilkerson was the only Texas runner to get past first while Mussina was on the mound, and scored when Barajas grounded out.

For the first time in 11 games -- eight of them victories -- the Yankees never trailed.

Rangers starter Vicente Padilla (3-2) gave up consecutive singles to Damon and Jeter to start a 39-pitch first inning. The right-hander walked three in the frame, including Jorge Posada with the bases loaded for a 2-0 lead after Rodriguez reached on a fielder's choice that drove in a run.

Padilla retired seven in a row after walking Posada, but the Yankees batted around against Padilla in the fourth before he was finally pulled after Rodriguez made it 7-1 with a two-run single.

"We dug ourselves a pretty big hole early on, but almost got out of it," manager Buck Showalter said.

Each time Rodriguez batted - he went 2-for-4 with a walk to break a 2-for-22 skid -- he was greeted with a loud chorus of boos. A-Rod spent three seasons in Texas, where he won his first AL MVP award in 2003 before being traded to the Yankees the following spring.

The Rangers fans cheered when Rodriguez was charged with an error in the sixth.

In the Yankees' five-run fourth, Damon hit a flyball deep into the left-field corner with the bases loaded. The ball appeared to go in Wilkerson's glove, but dropped out as he got close to the wall, though only one run scored.

Wilkerson was back in the lineup a night after suffering a mild concussion when he crashed hard into the wall on a catch against Baltimore, and had to leave the game.

Jeter then hit a potential double-play grounder, but third baseman Hank Blalock's throw was wide of second, allowing a run. Rodriguez got his two-run single after Jason Giambi drew his second walk of the game -- and AL-leading 32nd.

Padilla struck out four and walked five while allowing seven runs (four earned) and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Notes

RF Gary Sheffield was in the Yankees lineup for the first time in five games since his collision with Toronto's Shea Hillenbrand left him with a bruised left wrist. He was 0-for-5 before Bubba Crosby replaced him in the bottom of the eighth. ... Wilkerson is hitting .464 (13-for-28) during his hitting streak. ... The Rangers wore special jerseys commemorating Cinco de Mayo that had "Los Rangers" on the front. The jerseys were being raffled off after the game.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

B. Wilkerson
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
New York

M. Mussina
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 2
BB 0
K 5
 

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New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4221100 .309
Derek Jeter, SS5222010 .365
Gary Sheffield, RF5000017 .327
    Bubba Crosby, RF0000000 .200
Jason Giambi, 1B3001210 .301
    Andy Phillips, 1B0000000 .143
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4023110 .260
Hideki Matsui, LF3110203 .274
Jorge Posada, C4001103 .259
Robinson Cano, 2B5110006 .316
Bernie Williams, DH4210111 .260
Totals378988520 
Batting
2B - Alex Rodriguez (4, Bauer), Hideki Matsui (8, Padilla)
RBI - Johnny Damon (18), Derek Jeter 2 (22), Jason Giambi (29), Alex Rodriguez 3 (21), Jorge Posada (14)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (10), Jason Giambi (12), Alex Rodriguez 2 (7), Jorge Posada (4)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Giambi
E - Alex Rodriguez (2, fielding error)
New York Yankees
Mike Mussina (W,5-1) 7322050 2.35
Aaron Small 0.1333000 16.88
Kyle Farnsworth 0.1122110 4.09
Mariano Rivera (S,6) 1.1300000 3.00
HBP - Wilkerson (by Mariano Rivera)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 86-62, Aaron Small 10-6, Kyle Farnsworth 13-5, Mariano Rivera 26-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 9-7, Aaron Small 1-0, Mariano Rivera 3-1
Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 24, Aaron Small 4, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Mariano Rivera 8
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF5120001 .300
Michael Young, SS5120002 .331
Mark Teixeira, 1B5000015 .264
Phil Nevin, DH3101110 .250
Hank Blalock, 3B4012020 .316
Kevin Mench, RF4121010 .313
Brad Wilkerson, LF3220010 .267
Rod Barajas, C4012003 .210
Mark DeRosa, 2B4101000 .417
Totals3771071611 
Batting
3B - Brad Wilkerson (1, Mussina)
RBI - Phil Nevin (24), Hank Blalock 2 (21), Kevin Mench (25), Rod Barajas 2 (9), Mark DeRosa (7)
2-OUT RBI - Phil Nevin (16), Hank Blalock 2 (12), Kevin Mench (6)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Young-DeRosa-Teixeira
E - Hank Blalock (5, throwing error), Michael Young (5, fielding error)
Texas Rangers
Vicente Padilla (L,3-2) 3.2674540 4.58
Rick Bauer 3.1311200 3.24
C.J. Wilson 1000110 6.75
Ron Mahay 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 90-48, Rick Bauer 60-31, C.J. Wilson 14-7, Ron Mahay 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 3-5, Rick Bauer 2-8, Ron Mahay 2-1
Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 23, Rick Bauer 15, C.J. Wilson 4, Ron Mahay 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39002
Game Time - 3:21
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Dale Scott, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - James Hoye