The New York Yankees are getting some impressive performances from their depleted rotation this week.
This four-game set between AL heavyweights has been one-sided so far, with New York (69-47) outscoring Texas 11-2 in winning the first two in the Bronx.
With CC Sabathia back on the disabled list and Andy Pettitte still out, David Phelps and Derek Lowe stepped in to key Monday's 8-2 victory. Hiroki Kuroda then dominated the powerful Rangers on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finishing with a two-hitter in a 3-0 victory.
"Man, these games are a lot of fun to play in," said outfielder Nick Swisher , whose tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh helped the Yankees win for the sixth time in seven games.
The Rangers (67-48) continue to lead the majors in runs - by three over New York - but they have been held to two or fewer four times in their last five games.
"We were swinging at everything," star outfielder Josh Hamilton said Tuesday.
They'll hope to get untracked against Garcia (6-5, 4.85 ERA), who has allowed three runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts since re-entering the rotation in place of Pettitte at the beginning of July.
The right-hander, who had a 12.51 ERA in four April outings before being sent to the bullpen, has yielded four runs over 11 innings in winning his last two starts. He didn't walk anybody in six strong innings during Friday's 10-4 win at Toronto.
"When his velocity is up most of his other pitches are crisper," catcher Russell Martin said. "That's really the big difference. His velocity was down when he was getting banged around a little bit and now that he's gotten velocity back, he's much better."
That was Garcia's first win at Toronto in more than a decade, but he's had much more success versus Texas.
He hasn't lost to the Rangers since 2004, going 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six starts. Garcia last faced them April 16, 2011, allowing two hits over six scoreless innings in a 5-2 victory.
Texas counters with Scott Feldman (6-7, 4.64), who had won six consecutive decisions before losing Friday to Detroit. He allowed one run through his first five innings and was one out away from finishing the sixth when Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer to power the Tigers' 6-2 win.
"I threw the ball well for the majority of the game, it was just that pitch there to Prince I wish I could have back," Feldman told the Rangers' official website.
The right-hander has been throwing well since the All-Star break. That was only the second homer he's allowed over four starts spanning 28 1-3 innings in that stretch, during which Feldman is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA.
Derek Jeter , who is batting .403 in his last 15 games, is 5 for 13 with a pair of homers against Feldman. Curtis Granderson , slumping with one hit and eight strikeouts in his last 18 at-bats, is 5 for 9 with three homers and three walks in the matchup.
|August 11, 2012||Mike Napoli||15-Day DL||Strained left quadriceps|
|August 05, 2012||Elvis Andrus||Day-to-Day||Left game - shoulder soreness|
|July 19, 2012||Colby Lewis||60-Day DL||Torn flexor tendon, right elbow|
|July 06, 2012||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Left game - Lower back spasms|
|June 26, 2012||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Strained right intercostal muscle|
|June 26, 2012||Mark Lowe||15-Day DL||Strained right intercostal muscle|
|New York Yankees|
|August 09, 2012||CC Sabathia||15-Day DL||Left elbow soreness|
|July 25, 2012||Alex Rodriguez||15-Day DL||Non-displaced fracture in left hand|
|July 25, 2012||Nick Swisher||Day-to-Day||Strained left hip flexor|
|July 24, 2012||Alex Rodriguez||Day-to-Day||Left hand fracture|
|June 28, 2012||Andy Pettitte||60-Day DL||Fractured left ankle - out 6-8 weeks|
|June 27, 2012||Andy Pettitte||Day-to-Day||Fractured left ankle - out 6-8 weeks|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Freddy Garcia watched Hiroki Kuroda and David Phelps make the Texas Rangers look rather ordinary and decided he wasn't going to be the pitcher who stopped the trend.
Other than a couple of big swings by Josh Hamilton , he was up to the challenge.
Garcia worked around two homers by Hamilton to remain undefeated against Texas for eight years and the New York Yankees beat the Rangers for the third straight night, 3-2 on Wednesday.
The Yankees have held the AL's best offense to only four runs in the first three games of the four-game series.
"Our guys have done a tremendous job," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I applaud our pitchers."
Hamilton became the second player to reach 100 RBIs this season - Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was first - with his career-high 33rd homer, a line drive to right in the fourth inning. His majestic drive in the sixth was all Texas could muster in their eighth straight loss in the Bronx.
With a chance to tie the game in the ninth, Hamilton was struck out by Rafael Soriano .
"When you're seeing the ball good, you feel like you can pretty much hit anything," Hamilton said. "But, at that point in the game, you just want to get somebody on base and give yourself a chance to tie the ballgame up."
Nick Swisher gave the Yankees the lead with an RBI double off Scott Feldman in a three-run third inning. Swisher put the Yankees ahead in the first two games, too. He hit a grand slam Monday and a two-run shot Tuesday night in a matchup between the teams with the best records in the AL.
Garcia (7-5) followed Kuroda's two-hitter Tuesday by giving up four hits in 6 2-3 innings of a game delayed by rain at the start for 1 hour, 45 minutes.
Garcia has not lost to the Rangers since 2004, going 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA in seven starts.
"When you see one guy pitch and the other guy pitch you're thinking you got to go out there and try to do the same," he said.
A well-rested bullpen then finished for the Yankees' seventh win in eight games.
Boone Logan got one out. David Robertson struck out two in a perfect eighth, and after the strikeout of Hamilton, Soriano struck out worked around a throwing error by Eric Chavez for his 29th save.
With second baseman Robinson Cano getting a night off because of a stiff neck, Mark Teixeira serving as the designated hitter. Alex Rodriguez out with a broken hand, Derek Jeter was the only regular in the infield, and the Rangers tested the group in the fourth inning.
After Hamilton's homer, Adrian Beltre singled. Nelson Cruz then hit a grounder to Chavez, who chose to try for the force at second but his throw was late. Fill-in second baseman Jayson Nix 's relay to Swisher, the substitute first baseman, was late, putting runners on first and second.
David Murphy walked but Garcia got Geovany Soto to hit a grounder to Jeter. Swisher fell while stretching to keep his foot on the base and completed the 6-4-3 double play.
Feldman (6-8) pitched out of trouble in the fourth, fifth and six innings, working around three walks and two hits. In six innings, he allowed seven hits and four walks. He struck out seven.
"I didn't feel I was throwing the ball bad, even when that (third inning) was going on," Feldman said. "I just tried to keep doing what I was doing, and the defense made some plays behind me. They just got one more than us tonight."
Hamilton pulled the Rangers to 3-2 in the sixth, launching a mega-homer way up the bleachers in right. It was his third multihomer game this season.
Ian Kinsler was ejected by home plate umpire Vic Carapazza in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes. He is 0 for 11 in the series.
Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly after Swisher's double. Then Chavez had a run-scoring single, the first of three hits. The former A's star has been getting the majority of the playing time at third base since A-Rod broke his hand and he has responded. Chavez has a streak of six straight multihit games to raise his average to .303. A six-time Gold Glove winner whose career has been curtailed by injuries, Chavez is happy with his role.
"With the injuries that I've had, my mindset had to change," Chavez said.
NOTES: Rangers RHP Koji Uehara (strained right lat muscle) threw 20 pitches in batting practice without problems at Double-A Frisco. The plan is for him to throw 30 in a BP session Saturday. ... Rodriguez (broken left hand) will have another X-ray on Sunday. He said the results will help set the next steps in his rehabilitation. ... Hamilton had a four-homer game this season at Baltimore on May 8. ... Jeter has an 11-game hitting streak. ... Rangers INF Michael Young was given a day off from the starting lineup. He flied out in the seventh as a pinch-hitter and played second base in the ninth as Texas lost its DH spot. ... Rain knocked out the TV signal in the press box with one out to go in Seattle ace Felix Hernandez 's perfect game.