For the third game in a row, the Rangers’ bats failed to provide the serious “pop” that has come to be expected.
Early in the game, Feldman and catcher Geovany Soto looked as if they were not in sync as Feldman worked out of trouble in the second and gave up runs in the third. Right fielder Nick Swisher provided the first Yankee run of the game for the third night in a row with a soft double to left field. The Bronx Bombers scraped across two more runs before the inning was over.
Despite the rocky inning, Feldman calmed down and ended up throwing a season high 117 pitches. Though he walked four, he struck out seven through six innings pitched. Despite his best effort, Feldman walked away the tough-luck loser, dropping him to 6-8 on the year.
Garcia dominated the Rangers offense through 6.2 innings, giving up only two runs on four hits.
The Rangers ended their 19-inning scoreless drought with a Josh Hamilton second deck shot in the fourth inning, giving him his 100th RBI of the year and his first career home run at the new Yankee Stadium. They proceeded to load the bases with one out for Soto to ground into a double play, ending the only credible Rangers threat of the night. Soto went 0-3 on the night with the GIDP and two strikeouts and is now batting an abysmal .167 since being traded from the Cubs.
In the sixth, Hamilton blasted another solo bomb to right for his Major League leading (tie with White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn) thirty-fourth home run of the season to make it 3-2.
Robbie Ross’ pitching slump continued on Wednesday as he pitched two-thirds of an inning and loaded the bases before handing the ball over to the equally struggling Alexi Ogando, who retired Russell Martin on one pitch. Threat avoided.
In the top of the eighth, Ian Kinsler’s temper got the best of him again as he apparently said a “magic word” to home plate umpire Vic Carapazza and was ejected for the third time this season. Carapazza’s strike zone had been a topic of discussion all night as hitter after hitter walked back to the dugout stunned at the “strike three” call.
Closer Rafael Soriano came on in the ninth and earned his 29th save of the season to end the game.
The Rangers are now six games ahead of the Athletics and 6.5 games ahead of the Angels in the AL West as they await the results of the late west coast game.
The Rangers and Yankees will square off for the final time of the regular season tomorrow when southpaw Derek Holland (7-6, 4.92 ERA) takes the mound at 12:05 p.m. against Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.70 ERA) in an attempt to salvage a game in the four game series in The Bronx.