|N.Y. Yankees (63-52) «||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||3||11||0|
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mike Mussina didn't even throw his best stuff, and he still shut down the most powerful offense in the majors.
The New York Yankees might take that as a sign of things turning around.
Mussina pitched seven sharp innings for his 15th win, and the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 3-0 on Thursday night to gain a four-game split before starting their next road series against the AL-leading Los Angeles Angels.
Mussina (15-7) threw seven scoreless innings to shut down the highest-scoring offense in the majors. He matched Cleveland's Cliff Lee for most wins in the American League and got his fifth victory in seven starts.
"I didn't have my best stuff today," Mussina said.
Then how did he help the Yankees become just the second team this season to shut out the Rangers?
"I don't know. I just kept going with what I had."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was more impressed.
"They obviously have a very, very good offensive club," Girardi said, "and Moose shut them down."
The Yankees won for the second consecutive night and moved within three games of idle Boston in the wild-card race, while the Rangers dropped to 3 ½ games behind New York.
Behind Mussina's gem, the Yankees joined Minnesota as the only teams to shut out Texas this season. He fanned sluggers Michael Young and Josh Hamilton twice, closed three innings with strikeouts and ended three others on double plays.
The 39-year-old right-hander gave up eight hits, struck out six and stayed unbeaten in his last seven road outings.
"He didn't give us pitches with a whole heck of a lot of the plate," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Mike is capable of doing that. He bent but he didn't break."
The Rangers entered the game with a major league-best 651 runs and led in most offensive categories, including hits and extra bases.
But the lineup didn't help Scott Feldman (4-5), who also pitched well but couldn't keep pace with Mussina. He lasted seven innings, allowing seven hits and striking out four.
Alex Rodriguez, booed again in his latest return to Texas, went hitless for the fourth straight night and finished the series 0-for-14.
Jeter put the Yankees ahead by connecting on Feldman's second pitch. Jeter served as the designated hitter after Girardi decided his shortstop needed a rest, in part, from the scorching Texas heat.
Jeter's homer would have been all the Yankees needed thanks to Mussina, who threw his second scoreless outing in his last four starts.
"It seems like every time he pitches, people come over and ask, 'How impressive was Moose today?"' Jeter said. "He's been our most consistent guy over the course of the year."
The Yankees left town with a 2-2 start to their 10-game road swing. Since coming to Texas on Monday, they have lost pitcher Joba Chamberlain to the 15-day disabled list and had a close call with newly acquired catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
Chamberlain's timetable for a return is murky after he was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis in his right shoulder.
Rodriguez is expected back in the lineup Friday after bruising his right knee in a collision at home plate Wednesday with Rangers outfielder David Murphy. The Texas rookie got the worst of the crash and is expected to miss two to four weeks.
|Mike Mussina scatters eight hits over seven innings and stays unbeaten in seven road starts. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Yankees|
|Johnny Damon, CF-LF||5||0||2||1||0||1||1||.318|
|Derek Jeter, DH||4||1||3||2||1||0||0||.286|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.291|
|Alex Rodriguez, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.312|
|Jason Giambi, 1B||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||.255|
|Melky Cabrera, PR-CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.242|
|Xavier Nady, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.333|
|Richie Sexson, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.226|
|Robinson Cano, 2B||4||0||3||0||0||0||1||.266|
|Wilson Betemit, SS||4||2||1||0||0||1||2||.250|
|Jose Molina, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.236|
|2B - Robinson Cano (24, Wright)|
|HR - Derek Jeter (7, Feldman)|
|RBI - Johnny Damon (49), Derek Jeter 2 (55)|
|2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon (23), Derek Jeter (19)|
|SB - Derek Jeter (7, 2nd base off Wright/Laird)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Mussina-Betemit-Giambi, Betemit-Cano-Giambi, Mussina-Rodriguez-Betemit-Cano|
|New York Yankees|
|Mike Mussina (W,15-7)||7||8||0||0||1||6||0||3.27|
|Brian Bruney (H,4)||0.1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.88|
|Damaso Marte (H,18)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.13|
|Mariano Rivera (S,28)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1.43|
|Pitches-Strikes - Mike Mussina 99-66, Brian Bruney 2-2, Damaso Marte 5-4, Mariano Rivera 8-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Mussina 9-3, Brian Bruney 1-0, Mariano Rivera 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Mike Mussina 27, Brian Bruney 1, Damaso Marte 2, Mariano Rivera 3|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.313|
|Frank Catalanotto, DH||3||0||2||0||1||1||0||.292|
|Michael Young, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||5||.287|
|Josh Hamilton, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||0||.302|
|Marlon Byrd, RF||4||0||3||0||0||0||0||.268|
|Brandon Boggs, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.244|
|Gerald Laird, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.296|
|Chris Davis, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.289|
|Ramon Vazquez, 3B||3||0||2||0||0||0||0||.325|
|2B - Marlon Byrd 2 (15, Mussina, Mussina)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1|
|DP - Vazquez-Kinsler-Davis, Young-Kinsler-Davis, Young-Davis|
|Scott Feldman (L,4-5)||7||7||2||2||2||4||1||4.82|
|IBB - Giambi by Jamey Wright|
|HBP - Giambi (by Scott Feldman)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 103-67, Jamey Wright 40-25|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 10-4, Jamey Wright 4-0|
|Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 28, Jamey Wright 10|
|Attendance - 44603|
|Game Time - 2:50|
|Temperature - 98|
|Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Bob Davidson|