If history is any indication, Derek Holland can't do much to stop them.
In the finale of these teams' regular-season series, the Yankees try to finish a four-game sweep of Texas and pound Holland yet again Thursday in the Bronx.
The Rangers (67-49) have won the last two AL championships, but New York (70-47) has taken over the league's best record thanks to its dominance this week. The Yankees have won the first three games by a combined 14-4, holding Texas to 14 total hits.
"Our guys have done a tremendous job," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi , whose team has won seven of eight overall and 11 of 15 versus Texas since losing the 2010 ALCS. "I applaud our pitchers."
The Rangers lost their eighth straight at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday despite Josh Hamilton 's two homers. New York allowed just two other hits and won 3-2 with help from Nick Swisher , who drove in his eighth run of the series.
Eric Chavez was 3 for 3 with an RBI and a walk, posting multiple hits in his sixth consecutive contest. The third baseman is batting .514 (19 for 37) with five homers and 11 RBIs in his last 11 games, but he's played sparingly against left-handed pitchers this year.
That means he may be out of the lineup as Holland (7-6, 4.92 ERA) tries to change his fortunes against the Yankees. Holland threw 5 2-3 scoreless innings over two relief appearances during the 2010 ALCS and won Game 4, but his regular-season outings versus New York have been disastrous.
In seven regular-season games - six starts - Holland is 0-5 with a 9.26 ERA while allowing the Yankees to hit .340. He's lost all three of his starts at Yankee Stadium, serving up two homers in each.
"I don't really read into that much," Holland said after New York beat him 7-4 on April 23 in Arlington. Derek Jeter went 4 for 4 in that game against the left-hander, who allowed seven runs and nine hits over six innings, walking four and striking out one.
Detroit's hitters had much more trouble Saturday versus Holland, who yielded one run and three hits while fanning nine in 7 2-3 innings. He kept pace with Justin Verlander , and the Rangers won 2-1 on Mike Olt 's pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth.
Counterpart Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.70) is coming off a similarly strong start. The Yankees right-hander struck out 10 in 7 1-3 innings of a 5-2 win Saturday at Toronto, bouncing back after giving up 16 runs and 21 hits over 10 1-3 innings in losing his previous two outings.
Girardi called the performance "very encouraging," perhaps especially because Nova changed the grip on his slider and got improved results.
"It was great," Nova said of the pitch. "It was right where I wanted it."
Nova will be facing the Rangers for the first time in 2012 after going 2-1 with a 4.67 ERA in last season's series, and he'll encounter several struggling Texas sluggers.
Ian Kinsler is 0 for 11 with four strikeouts in the Bronx this week, while Adrian Beltre is embroiled in a 5-for-30 slump without an extra-base hit or walk. Michael Young didn't start Wednesday, but flied out as a pinch hitter and is 1 for 14 in his last five games.
Hamilton, meanwhile, is 10 for 24 with five homers in his last seven contests. He's tied with Adam Dunn for the major league lead with 34 home runs.
"When you're seeing the ball good, you feel like you can pretty much hit anything," Hamilton said.
|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) -- These romps around the bases fit the Texas Rangers just fine.
Craig Gentry turned a spot start into a tiebreaking hit and the Rangers avoided a four-game sweep in a matchup of AL division leaders, rallying past the New York Yankees 10-6 Thursday.
Texas had lost eight straight at Yankee Stadium overall. The high-scoring Rangers had done little in this series, too, totaling only four runs before getting 16 hits in the finale.
"I don't know about putting up 10 runs every night," manager Ron Washington said. "It's certainly the offense I expect to see most nights."
Gentry started for the first time in two weeks, and his two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning put the Rangers ahead 7-5. Adrian Beltre also had three RBIs, and Josh Hamilton doubled twice and scored three times.
"We know what we're capable of," said David Murphy , who contributed three hits.
Taking no chances, Washington summoned closer Joe Nathan for the first time in more than a week to finish it out in a non-save situation.
Ichiro Suzuki got three hits for the Yankees, who had won seven of eight.
Texas tagged starter Ivan Nova and a shaky New York bullpen.
"It's going to happen. Our guys aren't going to be perfect out there," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Texas took a 2-0 lead into the sixth before both teams broke loose with the bats. It was a seesaw from then on, with the Yankees rallying for a 5-4 lead before the Rangers came back with three in the seventh.
Murphy hit a tying RBI double off Boone Logan (4-1) and, after an intentional walk that loaded the bases, Gentry lined a tiebreaking single up the middle off Joba Chamberlain .
Gentry delivered his first hit since July 29 and tied a career best for RBIs. Working out and staying fresh is the key to being ready, he said.
"Definitely don't mentally shut it down," Gentry said.
The Yankees closed to 7-6 in the bottom half on Mark Teixeira 's RBI grounder. Reliever Michael Kirkman struck out Andruw Jones , who'd homered the previous inning, with runners at the corners to prevent further damage.
Beltre added a sacrifice fly and Geovany Soto hit an RBI single in the eighth off a struggling Chamberlain.
"There's some inconsistency. He'll make some really good pitches and then miss his spot," Girardi said.
Down 4-0, the Yankees once again picked on Derek Holland while rallying for five runs in the sixth.
Batting cleanup for the first time this season, Jones tied it with a two-out, two-run homer that umpires confirmed on video review. Texas third baseman Beltre pointed foul the whole time Jones rounded the bases, but the replay showed the ball clearly landed several feet inside the left-field foul pole.
Rookie right fielder Mike Olt then dropped Casey McGehee 's fly for a two-base error and Russell Martin met reliever Tanner Scheppers with a go-ahead single.
Holland began the afternoon 0-5 with a 9.26 ERA against the Yankees in regular-season play, though he has beaten them in relief during the playoffs.
Scheppers (1-0) won his first big league decision.
The no-decision left Nova with one win in his last seven starts. In trouble early, he struck out Hamilton on three pitches with the bases loaded and no outs in the third and escaped that jam without allowing a run.
NOTES: Yankees 2B Robinson Cano didn't start for the second straight day because of a stiff neck. He walked as a pinch hitter in the eighth and pulled into third on a double by Suzuki - some fans thought Cano could've scored on the play. ... 2B Ian Kinsler and RF Nelson Cruz didn't start, with Washington trying to rest them. Cruz pinch hit and stayed in to play right field. ... Derek Jeter 's RBI single in the Yankees sixth extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Rangers RHP Yu Darvish turned 26. He is set to start Friday night in Toronto. He is seeking his 13th win, which would set a team record for rookies. ... Yankees RHP Phil Hughes starts Friday night at home against Boston.