Last night the Texas Rangers took on the New York Yankees for the rubber game of the series. It was an exciting game and was close throughout. There were multiple lead changes but the Yankees came out on top.
Elvis Andrus got on board with a single in the first, he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Yankees catcher Russell Martin. Adrian Beltre hit a homer to bring in Andrus and started the game 2-0.
Alexi Ogando was excellent in the first and was strong in the second despite giving up a solo home run to Robinson Cano. He threw a slider inside that Cano manhandled into the second deck.
Julio Borbon hit a single to lead off the top of the third. Bobby Valentine on the ESPN Sunday Night broadcast referred to him as Pedro Borbon. It seems like no one is giving Borbon any respect. Ian Kinsler came up and hit into a double play, and Andrus worked a full count but grounded out, ending the the top of the inning.
Ogando hit Russell Martin but then forced Brett Gardner into a double play. He forced a ground out to Derek Jeter on all fastballs. Ogando had excellent velocity and went as high as 97mph.
Michael Young started off the 4th inning with a powerful double to right that rolled to the wall. Adrian Beltre hit an RBI blooper single that brought Young home from second. Alexi worked well in the bottom of the 4th earning two fly outs and a ground out. This was the best we saw from Ogando all night, he located his pitches well and finished it well.
Yorvit Torrealba picked up an infield single after one-out, immediately after the single Julio Borbon reached first on a throwing error from Sabathia. Kinsler then flew out to center on a hard hit ball. Andrus grounded out to 2nd to end the top of the 5th inning.
Ogando led off the bottom of the fifth with a fly ball into left from Nick Swisher, and then allowed a single to Eric Chavez. Jorge Posada hit a ball well to right and Nelson Cruz had a spectacular diving catch. Ogando allowed a two-run homer to Russell Martin to tie the game 3-3. Both homers allowed in the game came on 0-2 counts. He then struck out Brett Gardner on 3 straight sliders.
Michael Young had an excellent at bat earning a single to lead off the 6th. Beltre hit a double to score Young from first giving Beltre all 4 RBIs up to that point. After two outs in the inning David Murphy earned a walk on an 8 pitch at bat. Torrealba then grounded out to first to end the top of the sixth. Through six innings Sabathia threw 108 pitches.
Jeter hit a single to lead off the bottom of the 6th, it could have easily been extra bases but Nelson plopped in front of it to prevent it from going further. Curtis Granderson then hit a 2-run jack to right field to gain the lead. Alexi forced a fly to short left field and Adrian Beltre got under it well. Ground outs from Cano and Swisher ended the inning.
Borbon led off the 7th with a strikeout, Yankee skipper Joe Girardi then replaced Sabathia with Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain walked Ian Kinsler on four straight pitches. Andrus hit a dribbler and was thrown out at first. Rangers’ first base coach Gary Pettis violently argued the call at first, and was ejected from the game. Michael Young went to bat and hit a ground-rule double, scoring Kinsler on an inside fastball from Joba. Beltre grounded to the pitcher to end the top of the 7th.
An excellent field and throw from Adrian Beltre got Eric Chavez out on a grounder. Ogando walked Jorge Posada on 6 pitches. Russell Martin hit a single to put two runners on base with one out. Ron Washington went to the mound and replaced Ogando with Arthur Rhodes. Andruw Jones pinch hit for Gardner to square off against Rhodes and flew out to Borbon. Derek Jeter grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
Rafael Soriano came into relieve Joba in the eighth. Aside from a single from David Murphy the Rangers weren’t able to get anything going.
Arthur Rhodes stayed in to pitch the 8th for the Rangers. The righty forced Granderson to fly out to Borbon in center. Rhodes walked Teixeira to put the potential game-winning run on base. Cano then popped out to the warning track for the second out of the inning. The Rangers outfield positioned in a “no doubles” formation, and allowed a single to Nick Swisher. Eric Chavez then hit a ball to center to score Teixeira. A terrifyingly weak throw from Borbon was not in time, and the Yankee first baseman scored easily. Rhodes then intentionally walked Jorge Posada to load the bases for Russell Martin. The Rangers young reliever Pedro Strop was brought in to replace Rhodes, and Russell Martin promptly grounded out to end the eighth.
The Yankees future hall-of-fame closer Mariano Rivera came in to pitch the ninth. Mitch Moreland pinch hit for Julio Borbon, and popped out against his dangerous cutter. Rivera struck out Ian Kinsler and Andrus grounded out to end the game.
Ogando wasn’t horrible in the no-decision, he threw 92 pitches and 58 of them were for strikes. He gave up six hits and five runs, all runs allowed came on home runs in the game. It was an important game for the young pitcher, he faced adversity early in the game and proved he could battle back. I look forward to his next start which should come Saturday against Kansas City.
It was nice to see the Rangers offense get the numbers they could in the game. Michael Young has been on a tear lately and that was represented well in this game. Adrian Beltre showed up in the game, going 3 for 4 with the four RBIs. Hopefully this will spark more production from Beltre.
The boys need to bounce back quickly as they begin a three-game series against the division rival Angels. With the Angels win last night they are tied with the Rangers at 10 and 5. This is a critical series and the Rangers need to come out on top. Stacy will have the preview up later today, and the first pitch is at 7:05pm tonight in Arlington.