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A-Rod's fill-in drives in game-winner against Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Eric Chavez has 230 home runs and a wealth of experience obtained during 13 major-league seasons.

That's not a bad bat to have ready on the bench.

Chavez, filling in for an ailing Alex Rodriguez, singled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees hit three homers off previously untouchable Alexi Ogando to beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 on Sunday night.

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"When I made the decision to come here, I knew what it was going to be. Obviously, Alex is going to play a ton of games and when I get in there I've just got to be ready to play," said Chavez, in his initial season with the Yankees after spending his first 13 in Oakland. "I'm going to keep the same approach the whole year."

Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all went deep to help the Yankees take two of three in an early rematch of last year's AL championship series, which Texas won in six games to capture its first pennant.

Adrian Beltre homered, doubled and drove in four runs for the Rangers, who have dropped four of five since opening the season 9-1. Missing injured AL MVP Josh Hamilton, they begin a 10-game homestand Monday night with a three-game series against the AL West rival Angels.

"Bring it on," manager Ron Washington said.

Mark Teixeira drew a one-out walk from Arthur Rhodes (0-1) in the eighth and Nick Swisher singled with two outs. Chavez, in a lefty-on-lefty matchup, lined a single up the middle and Teixeira scored with a slide ahead of the looping throw from center fielder Julio Borbon.

"It was a good pitch, man. It was down and away," Rhodes said. "You've got to tip your hat to the guy when you make a good pitch and he hits it. That was it."

Chavez is 7 for 15 (.467) with three RBI this season.

"Felt like we had the proper matchup with Arthur against Eric," Washington said. "You've got to give Eric credit."

Rafael Soriano (1-0) pitched scoreless eighth for his first win with the Yankees and Mariano Rivera got three quick outs for his seventh save in seven chances.

Rivera has saved or won each of New York's eight home victories this season.

All three Yankees homers came off Ogando, who allowed just four hits over 13 shutout innings in his previous two starts this season. New York leads the majors with 27 home runs, a club record through 14 games.

Ogando gave up five runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Going into the game, he had allowed two regular-season homers in 54 2/3 career innings.

"He just got it up to them and they hit it," Washington said. "Couldn't go through the whole season without giving up something. The most important thing is, he kept us in the ballgame."

Rodriguez sat out because of stiffness in his lower back and side, but the Yankees flashed plenty of power at the plate in a back-and-forth game that went on uninterrupted through a pair of showers.

In the fourth, bright lightning streaked across the sky and booming thunder clapped as fans scurried for cover from the rain on a 57-degree night.

Joba Chamberlain relieved Yankees ace CC Sabathia in the seventh and immediately walked Ian Kinsler on four pitches. With two outs, Michael Young doubled over Swisher's head in right to tie it at 5. Chamberlain retired Beltre on a comebacker to end the inning.

In the sixth, Derek Jeter hit a leadoff single and Granderson pulled a 1-1 pitch just inside the right-field foul pole. Jeter leaned left to give it some body english and when the drive stayed fair, New York had a 5-4 lead.

Granderson also homered off Ogando in Game 5 of the ALCS last year, the only run that the skinny, long-limbed right-hander allowed in five postseason relief appearances.

A converted outfielder, the 27-year-old Ogando excelled out of the bullpen last season and was only shifted to the starting rotation when Tommy Hunter strained his groin during the final week of spring training.

Beltre hit a two-run shot on a high fastball in the first inning and an RBI single in the fourth, both with two strikes. His run-scoring double in the sixth put Texas up 4-3.

Moments after right fielder Nelson Cruz made a diving catch of Jorge Posada's shallow fly in the fifth, Martin turned on a 94 mph fastball and sent it into the left-field stands for his fourth homer. He hit five in 97 games last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I just enjoy the intensity," said Martin, rested Saturday for the first time this season. "If you like intense baseball, this is the place to be. So far, I like it."

Texas came right back with Young's leadoff single in the sixth and the RBI double by Beltre, who began the night 3 for 22 (.136) against Sabathia with seven strikeouts.

"Couldn't get him out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's the type of player that can carry a club."

Notes

  • Rangers RHP Brandon Webb (shoulder) had a 70-pitch bullpen session and is slated to throw batting practice Friday in Texas.
  • Girardi dropped slumping LF Brett Gardner to ninth in the batting order. Gardner had been hitting leadoff against right-handers. "I'm not saying this is a long-term thing. We're just trying to get him going," Girardi said.
 
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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New York's Mark Teixeira scores the game-winner on a single by Eric Chavez in the eighth inning. (AP)
New York's Mark Teixeira scores the game-winner on a single by Eric Chavez in the eighth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

A. Beltre
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
New York

R. Martin
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B4100122 .170
Elvis Andrus, SS5110002 .176
Michael Young, DH4231011 .367
Adrian Beltre, 3B4134001 .250
Nelson Cruz, RF4000032 .260
Mike Napoli, 1B3000112 .286
David Murphy, LF3010101 .323
Yorvit Torrealba, C4010003 .227
Julio Borbon, CF3010010 .194
   a- Mitch Moreland, PH1000000 .289
Totals35510538  
a-popped out for Borbon in the 9th
Batting
2B - Michael Young 2 (8, Sabathia, Chamberlain), Adrian Beltre (4, Sabathia)
HR - Adrian Beltre (4, Sabathia)
RBI - Michael Young (8), Adrian Beltre 4 (13)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Young (3), Adrian Beltre 2 (6)
SB - Elvis Andrus (4, 3rd base off Sabathia/Martin)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Napoli
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alexi Ogando 6.1655113 2.33
Arthur Rhodes (L,0-1) 1.1211200 3.38
Pedro Strop 0.1000000 0.00
IBB - Posada by Arthur Rhodes
HBP - Martin (by Alexi Ogando)
Pitches-Strikes - Alexi Ogando 92-58, Arthur Rhodes 34-16, Pedro Strop 6-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alexi Ogando 7-10, Arthur Rhodes 1-3, Pedro Strop 1-0
Batters Faced - Alexi Ogando 26, Arthur Rhodes 8, Pedro Strop 1
New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Derek Jeter, SS4110002 .241
Curtis Granderson, CF4112000 .239
Mark Teixeira, 1B3100100 .220
Robinson Cano, 2B4111001 .310
Nick Swisher, RF4010000 .260
Eric Chavez, 3B4121000 .467
Jorge Posada, DH2000201 .163
Russell Martin, C3122003 .289
Brett Gardner, LF2000011 .140
   a- Andruw Jones, PH-LF1000002 .333
Totals3168631  
a-flied out for Gardner in the 7th
Batting
HR - Curtis Granderson (4, Ogando), Robinson Cano (4, Ogando), Russell Martin (4, Ogando)
RBI - Curtis Granderson 2 (6), Robinson Cano (11), Eric Chavez (3), Russell Martin 2 (11)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Chavez (2), Russell Martin 2 (5)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Teixeira, Chavez-Cano-Teixeira, Jeter-Cano-Teixeira
E - Russell Martin (3, Throwing), CC Sabathia (1, Throwing)
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
CC Sabathia 6.1844261 2.52
Joba Chamberlain (BS,1) 0.2111100 4.00
Rafael Soriano (W,1-0) 1100010 8.10
Mariano Rivera (S,7) 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - CC Sabathia 112-73, Joba Chamberlain 15-7, Rafael Soriano 9-8, Mariano Rivera 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - CC Sabathia 8-3, Joba Chamberlain 2-0, Mariano Rivera 1-1
Batters Faced - CC Sabathia 27, Joba Chamberlain 4, Rafael Soriano 4, Mariano Rivera 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40811
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Adrian Johnson, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Lance Barksdale