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N.Y. Yankees (27-20) «2100032019150
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Burnett, Matsui break out of slumps, lead Yankees in rout of Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- A.J. Burnett used a simple plan to end six weeks of struggles.

Burnett pitched six shutout innings to win for the first time since April 14, Hideki Matsui hit two home runs, and the New York Yankees gained a share of the AL East lead by beating the Texas Rangers 9-2 on Wednesday night.

The right-hander, who was 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his previous seven starts, said he wanted to stay aggressive against a hard-hitting Rangers lineup.

"I basically went after them," Burnett said. "I didn't leave anything over the plate. That's a big difference. When you don't make mistakes, they can't capitalize."

Burnett (3-2) allowed three hits, walked four and struck out seven to snap his longest winless drought since the end of the 2005 season.

After winning 18 games with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008, Burnett won his first two starts in pinstripes before his lengthy slump.

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"That's the A.J. we all know and love," said Mark Teixeira, who hit his 15th home run. "It all starts with starting pitching. If we get good starting pitching, we have a chance to win every single night with this offense."

The Yankees, who have won 12 of 15, are tied atop the division with Boston. It is the first time this season New York has been in first place in the AL East.

"It's about the team," Burnett said. "As long as I take a positive step forward, the wins will come."

Derek Jeter was 3-for-4 and reached base five times, and Teixeira added his 12th home run in May. The Yankees had 15 hits and outscored the first-place Rangers 23-10 in the three-game series.

Alex Rodriguez was 7-for-13 with four RBI in his first series in Texas since admitting earlier this year he used steroids while playing for the Rangers. For the third consecutive game, he was greeted with loud boos every time he came to the plate.

Derek Holland (1-2) lost in his second career start, allowing 10 hits and six runs in five innings.

"It's definitely a little different facing the Yankees," Holland said. "Each one was a tough out."

Matsui, who was in a 3-for-23 funk coming into the series, homered on the first pitch of the sixth inning from Holland. He added a two-run shot in the seventh off Warner Madrigal.

It was Matsui's third career multihomer game, and first since July 31, 2007, against the Chicago White Sox.

"I've been working with our hitting coach [Kevin Long] as far as shifting my balance," Matsui said through an interpreter. "It's a little adjustment I've been working on."

Robinson Cano homered in the ninth, giving the Yankees 77 this season to tie the Rangers for the top total in baseball.

Burnett, who signed a five-year, $82.5 million contract in the offseason, had not won in seven starts. He was 0-6 in his last seven starts with Florida in 2005.

In the sixth, Johnny Damon gave Burnett a hand when he crashed into the wall in left and made a bobbling catch of Josh Hamilton's line drive.

Jeter singled to lead off the game. After Damon struck out, Teixeira homered over the fence in left. Teixeira's 12 home runs in May are the most for a New York player in a month since Rodriguez hit 14 in April 2007.

New York extended its lead to 3-0 when Cash and Jeter hit back-to-back two-out doubles in the second.

Matsui's home run in the sixth gave the Yankees a 4-0 advantage, and the Yankees tacked on two more in the sixth after that.

Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer off Jose Veras in the Texas seventh, his 13th of the season.

Notes

  • The three-game series drew 120,720, the most for a series in Arlington since the Red Sox came to town April 6-8, 2007.
  • The Yankees extended a franchise record by playing their 14th consecutive errorless game.
  • Chien-Ming Wang pitched two hitless innings and struck out two in his second appearance since coming off the disabled list. The Yankees' righty lowered his ERA from 25.00 to 20.45. "That's as good as I've seen him this year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
 
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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After a difficult May, Hideki Matsui seems to have rediscovered how his bat works.  (Getty Images)
After a difficult May, Hideki Matsui seems to have rediscovered how his bat works. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Burnett
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 4
K 7
Texas

I. Kinsler
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

Related Video

New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS4131203 .297
Johnny Damon, LF5000036 .302
Mark Teixeira, 1B5122014 .275
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4010104 .258
    Ramiro Pena, 3B0000000 .246
Robinson Cano, 2B5221004 .320
Hideki Matsui, DH4223111 .257
    Angel Berroa, PR-DH0000000 .167
Nick Swisher, RF4110111 .223
Brett Gardner, CF5120021 .277
Kevin Cash, C4122001 .231
Totals40915958  
Batting
2B - Derek Jeter (11, Holland), Alex Rodriguez (4, Holland), Robinson Cano (13, Madrigal), Kevin Cash (2, Holland)
HR - Mark Teixeira (15, Holland), Robinson Cano (9, Benson), Hideki Matsui 2 (7, Holland, Madrigal)
RBI - Derek Jeter (22), Mark Teixeira 2 (39), Robinson Cano (28), Hideki Matsui 3 (18), Kevin Cash 2 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (13)
Team LOB - 10
New York Yankees
A.J. Burnett (W,3-2) 6300470 4.78
Jose Veras 0.1222101 6.41
David Robertson 0.2000010 2.84
Chien-Ming Wang 2000020 20.45
HBP - Murphy (by A.J. Burnett)
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 118-70, Jose Veras 23-14, David Robertson 8-6, Chien-Ming Wang 26-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 4-6, Jose Veras 1-0, Chien-Ming Wang 2-2
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 25, Jose Veras 4, David Robertson 2, Chien-Ming Wang 6
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4112100 .282
Michael Young, 3B3010101 .335
Josh Hamilton, CF4000021 .241
Andruw Jones, DH4010012 .288
Nelson Cruz, RF2000211 .293
David Murphy, LF2000101 .221
Chris Davis, 1B4000035 .203
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4110021 .252
Elvis Andrus, SS4010011 .284
Totals31252510  
Batting
2B - Andruw Jones (8, Burnett), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (6, Veras)
HR - Ian Kinsler (13, Veras)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 2 (35)
SB - Michael Young (4, 2nd base off Burnett/Cash)
CS - Elvis Andrus (1, 2nd base by Burnett/Cash)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1
DP - Holland-Andrus-Davis, Cruz-Saltalamacchia
E - Derek Holland (2, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Derek Holland (L,1-2) 51065252 5.70
Jason Jennings 0.2100110 3.86
Warner Madrigal 1.1222001 9.00
Eddie Guardado 1000110 5.06
Kris Benson 1211111 8.53
HBP - Cash (by Kris Benson)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 88-55, Jason Jennings 22-11, Warner Madrigal 22-14, Eddie Guardado 19-11, Kris Benson 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 3-6, Warner Madrigal 3-1
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 26, Jason Jennings 4, Warner Madrigal 6, Eddie Guardado 4, Kris Benson 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38409
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Tom Hallion, Third Base - Jerry Crawford