Rangers overcome four-run deficit, rout Yankees
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A four-run deficit is proving to be no big deal for the Texas Rangers to overcome.
Texas showed it again Friday night as it rallied from an early hole to pull away from the New York Yankees, 11-5.
Texas has now reached double figures in runs four times in its last 10 games and the 11 runs scored Friday matched the most the Yankees have given up this year.
Texas trailed 4-0 in the second inning and 5-1 in the third, but the combination of the offense and Martin Perez (12-10) worked out again for the Rangers. Perez won his seventh straight start, one shy of the club record after rebounding from a tough second inning.
“We’re playing good ball,” said Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara, who kick-started the Texas offense with a solo homer in the bottom of the second. “We’re going at-bat to at-bat and not trying to do too much. We’re looking for a pitch. The way we’re going now, the lineup is doing good things. Martin battled out there tonight, and we continued to score runs.”
It helped that the offense chased New York starter Masahiro Tanaka (11-11) early.
The Yankees took advantage of an error to score four runs on the top of the second, with a two-run single from Gary Sanchez capping the scoring.
But Tanaka, who allowed seven runs over his last four starts, couldn’t make it stand up. Texas got a run back in the bottom of the second and made it 5-3 in the third.
Texas ended the night for Tanaka and took the lead for good in the fifth inning.
Robinson Chirinos made it a one-run game with an RBI double and came around to score on a wild pitch to tie the game. Elvis Andrus then put the Rangers up 7-5 with a two-run single off Tommy Kahnle.
Tanaka lasted just four innings and gave up seven runs on eight hits as he exited after the first four batters in the fifth reached against him.
“I feel responsible for the loss,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “I felt like I let it slip away. The offense gave me a comfortable lead. I just wasn’t able to keep that lead and hold on. I feel responsible for it.”
The Rangers weren’t done as they blew the game open with four runs in the seventh inning.
Carlos Gomez got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly and Joey Gallo followed with an RBI single. A two-run triple from Rougned Odor extended the lead to 11-5.
That was plenty of offense for Perez (12-10), who now has the longest winning streak by a Texas pitcher since 2005. He allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings, but only two of them were earned. He struck out four and gave up eight hits.
“It was a good game tonight,” Perez said. “The second inning we didn’t make the plays but that’s part of the game. I‘m just trying to stay in the game because we’ve been up the last month. We’re hitting good. Five runs are not enough for us to lose a game.”
Texas finished with 15 hits as Andrus led the charge by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Delino DeShields, Shin-Soo Choo and Chirinos each scored twice.
The Yankees got all eight of their hits off Perez as the Texas bullpen worked 3 1/3 hitless innings. Sanchez finished 2-for-3.
New York manager Joe Girardi felt like the Yankees were in control in the third with a 5-1 lead and Tanaka on the mound.
“You feel pretty good about that situation when you’re in that situation,” Girardi said. “But again, they (the Rangers) grinded out some at-bats and got some key hits and knocked him out and then they took over the game. But the way he (Tanaka) has been throwing, you expect him to keep dealing like he has been.”
NOTES: The Rangers will start RHP A.J. Griffin in Sunday’s series finale against New York. Griffin is 6-5 with a 5.09 ERA. New York will start LHP Jordan Montgomery, who is 7-7 with a 4.14 ERA. ... Texas recalled OF Ryan Rua from Triple-A Round Rock. This is Rua’s fourth stint with the Rangers this year. ... The series between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, originally scheduled to start in St. Petersburg Monday, has been moved to New York’s Citi Field out of concern of the path of Hurricane Irma. The Rays will be the home team for the series.