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New York at Texas

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N.Y. Yankees (11-14) «010110010481
Texas (10-17)010010100381

Matsui bails out Yanks' shaky bullpen vs. Rangers in opener

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

Texas -- Andy Pettitte keeps giving leads to the New York Yankees' bullpen only to watch his relievers give them up.

After Luis Vizcaino allowed Jerry Hairston's tying homer, Hideki Matsui hit a go-ahead double in eighth inning that led the Yankees over the Texas Rangers 4-3 Thursday in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

"Every win that you're trying to get, especially at this stage of my career, I feel like is precious," said 34-year-old Pettitte, 1-1 in six starts. "So, obviously, you hate to see them lost. But this was a lot easier to swallow because we won."

New York, struggling with a rotation depleted by injuries and a bullpen worn down by overuse, has blown eight save chances this year overall.

"That was a huge game for us," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "Especially on the road to come back like that."

Pettitte handed over a 3-2 lead to the bullpen after allowing two runs and five hits in six innings with five strikeouts. In his previous start, on April 27, Pettitte gave up five earned runs in an 11-4 loss to Boston. He also turned over leads to the bullpen on April 15 and 20 only to have Mariano Rivera fail to hold them.

Pettitte didn't feel ready after warming up in the bullpen.

"It was another struggle for me," he said. "I was battling myself mechanically again. Wish I could have gone deeper in the game, but we got a win, and that's the big thing."

Vizcaino (2-1), who has a 5.63 ERA, gave up a homer to his second batter. It wasn't enough for the last-place Rangers, who lost their fourth straight.

"We had our opportunities," said Michael Young, who was 0-for-5 and lined into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the second.

Derek Jeter reached against Joaquin Benoit (0-1) leading off the eighth on an infield single that extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Bobby Abreu, in a 3-for-40 slide, struck out and Jeter advanced on a wild pitch - after he was nearly picked off but was safe because first baseman Mark Teixeira dropped the ball for an error.

After Alex Rodriguez grounded out, Texas intentionally walked Jason Giambi to pitch to Matsui, who doubled deep to right-center. Giambi hesitated twice on the basepaths and was throw out at the plate.

Giambi said he began to cramping up after rounding second but was OK. He also homered in the fourth, and said he felt more in the game because he was playing first base for the second time this year.

"We've gone through some tough stretches, but the one thing I felt that this year is we've never really gave in," Giambi said.

Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save in four chances, giving the Yankees (11-14) consecutive wins after a stretch of eight losses in nine games that caused owner George Steinbrenner to consider firing Torre.

In the rain-delayed second game of the doubleheader, Mike Mussina came off the disabled list after recovering from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him since April 11. The Yankees placed Phil Hughes on the DL before the game, two days after he became the fourth New York player to injure a hamstring. On Wednesday, the Yankees fired strength and conditioning coach Marty Miller.

Texas, too, has injury issues -- scheduled starter Kevin Millwood was scratched with a mild left hamstring strain and replaced by Mike Wood, who allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

"Mike kept us in the game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He did great. He had his ball sinking and threw his breaking ball. He pitched."

Matsui hit an RBI groundout in the second, but Gerald Laird hit a RBI double in the bottom half, which ended when Michael Young lined into double play with the bases loaded.

The Yankees made it 3-1 in the fifth when Melky Cabrera tripled and scored on Johnny Damon's sacrifice fly. Sammy Sosa hit an RBI double in the bottom half.

Notes

  • The Yankees recalled RHP Chris Britton before the opener, then optioned him to Triple-A Scranton between games so they could activate Mussina.
  • Millwood is expected to return to the rotation when the Rangers visit the Yankees from May 8-10.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman said RHP Carl Pavano (forearm) is trying to schedule an exam with Dr. James Andrews. Pavano hasn't pitched since April 9.
  • The Yankees have won nine straight games on the road against Texas.
  • DH Sosa's fifth-inning double was his 1,000th extra base hit.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Hideki Matsui's go-ahead double lifts New York to consecutive wins after a rough stretch.  (AP)
Hideki Matsui's go-ahead double lifts New York to consecutive wins after a rough stretch. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

H. Matsui
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Texas

S. Sosa
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4001004 .216
Derek Jeter, SS4110011 .337
Bobby Abreu, RF4000011 .238
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3100011 .360
Jason Giambi, 1B3121100 .323
    Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B0000000 .158
Hideki Matsui, DH4022000 .237
Jorge Posada, C3000102 .321
Robinson Cano, 2B3000010 .289
Melky Cabrera, LF4130002 .217
Totals3248424  
Batting
2B - Hideki Matsui 2 (3, Wood, Benoit)
3B - Melky Cabrera (1, Wood)
HR - Jason Giambi (5, Wood)
SF - Johnny Damon (1)
RBI - Johnny Damon (9), Jason Giambi (18), Hideki Matsui 2 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Giambi (8), Hideki Matsui (4)
CS - Derek Jeter (4, 2nd base by Benoit/Laird)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Cano, Giambi-Jeter
PB - Jorge Posada (2)
E - Robinson Cano (3, Misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte 6522350 3.00
Luis Vizcaino (BS,2; W,2-1) 1211001 5.63
Kyle Farnsworth (H,3) 1100010 5.23
Mariano Rivera (S,2) 1000010 9.35
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 107-66, Luis Vizcaino 15-10, Kyle Farnsworth 11-7, Mariano Rivera 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 8-5, Mariano Rivera 2-0
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 26, Luis Vizcaino 5, Kyle Farnsworth 4, Mariano Rivera 3
Texas Rangers
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF3111100 .265
   a- Kenny Lofton, PH1000000 .253
Michael Young, SS5000013 .198
Mark Teixeira, 1B3120110 .237
Sammy Sosa, DH3021101 .258
Hank Blalock, 3B4000014 .242
Ian Kinsler, 2B4110000 .300
Victor Diaz, RF3000011 .000
   b- Brad Wilkerson, PH-LF1010000 .245
Nelson Cruz, LF-RF4000011 .209
Gerald Laird, C4011021 .173
Totals3538337  
a-grounded out for Hairston in the 9th
b-singled for Diaz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (5, Vizcaino), Sammy Sosa (6, Pettitte), Ian Kinsler (5, Pettitte), Gerald Laird (3, Pettitte)
HR - Jerry Hairston Jr. (1, Vizcaino)
RBI - Jerry Hairston Jr. (2), Sammy Sosa (21), Gerald Laird (6)
2-OUT RBI - Sammy Sosa (10)
SB - Brad Wilkerson (2, 2nd base off Farnsworth/Posada)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jerry Hairston Jr. 1
DP - Blalock-Kinsler-Teixeira
E - Ian Kinsler (4, Throwing), Mark Teixeira (1, Missed catch of throw)
Texas Rangers
Mike Wood 6.1532131 3.12
C.J. Wilson 0.2000000 3.72
Joaquin Benoit (L,0-1) 2310110 5.27
IBB - Giambi by Joaquin Benoit
HBP - Rodriguez (by Mike Wood), Cano (by C.J. Wilson)
WP - Mike Wood (1), Joaquin Benoit (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Wood 99-50, C.J. Wilson 10-4, Joaquin Benoit 32-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Wood 8-7, Joaquin Benoit 1-3
Batters Faced - Mike Wood 25, C.J. Wilson 3, Joaquin Benoit 9
Game Information
Attendance - 0
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 78
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Angel Campos, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Derryl Cousins