Arlington, TX (Sports Network) – David Murphy’s game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Texas Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees in the opener of a two-game series between division leaders at Rangers Ballpark.
Murphy also hit a two-run homer for Texas, which saw its brief two-game skid halted and won for the fourth time in its last six games overall. The Rangers maintained their comfortable lead atop the AL West standings.
Alex Rodriguez homered for the Yankees, who entered this series after splitting four at home with arch-rival Boston. Nick Swisher posted two hits with an RBI in the losing effort. New York saw its lead in the AL East trimmed to one-half game after the Tampa Bay Rays defeated Detroit earlier Tuesday.
Michael Young led off the bottom of the 10th inning with an infield single off of Mariano Rivera (3-2). Josh Hamilton followed with a base hit to shallow right field. After Vladimir Guerrero’s groundout moved both runners ahead one base, Nelson Cruz was intentionally walked to loaded the bases.
Murphy then stepped to the plate and delivered the game-winning single into right field as the Rangers celebrated on the field.
Neftali Feliz (3-2), who tossed a pair of scoreless relief innings in the ninth and 10th, picked up the win.
The Rangers opened the scoring in the fourth inning. Young led off with a single and moved to second on a fly out off the bat of Hamilton. When Cruz stroked a double to left-center field with two outs, Young crossed the plate.
In the top of the fifth, New York knotted the contest on a two-out rally. Derek Jeter walked and scored when Swisher hit a double to right-center.
New York moved in front with a run in the top of the sixth. Austin Kearns doubled with one out and after Lance Berkman walked, Texas brought in reliever Darren O’Day. The first batter O’Day faced was Francisco Cervelli, whose base hit to center field brought home Kearns.
However, with runners on first and second and still one out, the Yankees failed to add more. Darren Oliver replaced O’Day and struck out Brett Gardner before Robinson Cano, a pinch-hitter in the game due to a fever, grounded out.
Texas used a two-out, two-run blast to move ahead in the home portion of the sixth. Guerrero reached first base on a fielder’s choice and trotted home when Murphy drilled his eight homer of the season off the facade in the upper deck in right-center field for a 3-2 Texas edge.
Alexi Ogando pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the Rangers, but Frank Francisco started the eighth and yielded a solo blast to leadoff batter Rodriguez. It was the 601st career home run for Rodriguez, also his 18th of the year, and it tied the score.
New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira missed the game — and could miss another — to be with his wife for the birth of their child…Both teams produced nine hits…New York starting pitcher A.J. Burnett allowed three runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks over seven innings of work. Texas southpaw C.J. Wilson pitched 5 1/3 frames and gave up two runs on five hits with five strikeouts.