Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Eric Chavez started for an injured Alex Rodriguez and delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, lifting the Yankees to a 6-5 victory over the Rangers in the finale of a three-game series.
Chavez also got the final out in the ninth, charging an Elvis Andrus grounder at third base and throwing out the speedy shortstop by a step to end the game and give New York a 2-1 series win.
Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson belted two-run homers for the Yankees and Robinson Cano had a solo blast. CC Sabathia remained winless on the season after giving up four runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Sabathia left with a 5-4 lead, but the Rangers tied the game against Joba Chamberlain in the seventh.
Instead, Rafael Soriano (1-0) earned the win in a scoreless inning of relief, while Mariano Rivera worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his seventh save of the season and the 566th of his career.
Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the Rangers and Michael Young hit the game-tying RBI ground-rule double off Chamberlain in the seventh.
Rodriguez missed the game after leaving Saturday’s 5-2 victory with low back and oblique stiffness.
Chavez, batting sixth in the order, went 2-for-4 with a run scored in A-Rod’s absence. He lined a 2-2 pitch just over the glove of Arthur Rhodes (0-1) and into center field, scoring Mark Teixeira from second base to make it 6-5 with two outs in the eighth.
Teixeira had drawn a one-out walk and moved up when Nick Swisher singled. Rhodes intentionally walked Jorge Posada after Chavez’s single and Pedro Strop came in to get Martin on a grounder, ending the inning.
Rivera coaxed a pop-up from Mitch Moreland and struck out Ian Kinsler in the ninth. Chavez double-clutched on Andrus’ bouncer before firing to first for the last out, moving the Yankees to 4-1 in their last five games.
Sabathia struck out six and walked two, but his ERA jumped from 1.45 to 2.52 as he failed again to post a winning decision. He retired Julio Borbon on a strikeout to start the seventh, but was replaced by Chamberlain. Kinsler walked, moved to second on Andrus’ ground out and scored on Young’s knock to right field to make it 5-5.
But the Rangers only put one more baserunner on, losing for the fourth time in their last five games since opening the season 9-1.
Texas starter Alexi Ogando entered the game with a 2-0 record and 0.00 ERA after giving up just four hits in 13 shutout innings. But he went 6 1/3 innings and yielded New York’s first five runs on Sunday — Cano’s homer in the second and two-run shots by Martin and Granderson in the fifth and sixth.
Rangers first base coach Gary Pettis was ejected for arguing that Andrus was safe on his ground out in the seventh inning. Replays appeared to show Andrus was out by a small margin on a bang-bang play…The Yankees are headed to Toronto for a two-game set Tuesday and Wednesday…The Rangers are going home for a three-game series against Anaheim that starts Monday.