Derek Holland provided one of those performances, but doing it again at home may be an issue.
Holland attempts to win there for the first time in nearly two months Thursday, when the Rangers try to take this four-game set from the Yankees.
Texas (56-45) has won four of six meetings with New York, thanks in large part to the pitching staff's 2.35 ERA while limiting the Yankees to a .192 batting average.
The starters have been particularly dominant in those victories, compiling a 0.98 ERA. Matt Garza turned in the latest gem - allowing an unearned run in 7 1-3 innings of Wednesday's 3-1 win - in his Rangers debut after being acquired in a trade from the Chicago Cubs earlier this week.
The Rangers are hoping Holland (8-5, 3.10 ERA) can follow up that effort. He tossed a two-hitter in a 2-0 win at New York on June 27.
That was a stark contrast from the left-hander's previous eight regular-season meetings with the Yankees, during which he went 0-5 with an 8.85 ERA, including 0-2 with a 10.29 ERA in three home games.
Holland hasn't won there since beating Kansas City on May 31.
He's 0-3 with a 4.81 ERA over his last four starts at Rangers Ballpark, but wasn't entirely to blame for Friday's 3-1 loss to Baltimore. He allowed three runs in eight innings, and the offense went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
"I thought he threw the ball extremely well. He certainly threw it well enough that on any other night he might have got a victory," manager Ron Washington said.
The Yankees (53-48) may not need much offense behind Hiroki Kuroda (9-6, 2.65), who is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA over his last three starts.
The right-hander was sharp again in Saturday's 5-2 win at AL East-leading Boston, yielding two runs in seven innings.
"(Kuroda) had everything," manager Joe Girardi said. "His stuff was really crisp. He kept his pitch count down in the early innings. His stuff was really sharp."
Kuroda, though, has given up seven runs in 12 innings while losing his two career visits to Arlington, with the most recent coming on April 23, 2012.
He didn't get a decision against the Rangers on June 25, allowing three runs - two earned - with six strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings of a 4-3 home win.
Kuroda has allowed A.J. Pierzynski to go 2 for 6 with a homer off him over the past three seasons. The catcher may be back in the lineup since he's 4 for 12 in this series after connecting for an RBI single in the first before a go-ahead, solo homer in the sixth Wednesday.
Brett Gardner is giving the Yankees some punch in the leadoff spot, going 9 for 20 over the past five games. He's a career .326 hitter against the Rangers, but has a .400 average with eight runs over the past 10 meetings.
Vernon Wells hasn't come close to being that effective, hitting .167 in 15 games against Texas. He's struck out five times while failing to get a hit in 11 at-bats versus Holland over the last two seasons.
|New York Yankees|
|July 23, 2013||Luis Cruz||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
|July 20, 2013||Zoilo Almonte||15-Day DL||Sprained left ankle|
|July 19, 2013||Zoilo Almonte||Day-to-Day||Left game - left ankle sprain|
|July 16, 2013||Robinson Cano||Day-to-Day||Left game - leg|
|July 12, 2013||Derek Jeter||Day-to-Day||Strained right quad|
|July 12, 2013||Derek Jeter||15-Day DL||Strained right quad|
|July 12, 2013||Justin Grimm||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right forearm|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
|July 07, 2013||Lance Berkman||15-Day DL||Left hip inflammation|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
|July 06, 2013||Nick Tepesch||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|June 21, 2013||Craig Gentry||15-Day DL||Fractured left hand|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Mariano Rivera was honored on the field before his final game in Texas - and was fittingly on the mound to end it.
After getting an appropriate gift of cowboy boots from the Rangers before the game, Rivera pitched the ninth inning for the save in a 2-0 victory for the New York Yankees after Hiroki Kuroda threw seven scoreless innings Thursday.
"He's Mo. Every time I go out there and he comes in, I'm excited more so than any point in the game," said rookie catcher Austin Romine , who had a career-high three hits and scored the first run. "To catch a guy that's done it day in and day out for a long time. .... Everybody looks, everybody watches and they see how it's done."
The boots given to Rivera were inscribed with the Yankees logo, his name and No. 42. They were presented by John Wetteland , who before becoming the Rangers' career saves leader was the Yankees closer and was set up by Rivera during their 1996 World Series championship season.
Rivera was also given a cowboy hat delivered by Texas closer Joe Nathan , who had the save in last week's All-Star game after Rivera pitched the eighth.
Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan , baseball's strikeout king who is now the Rangers CEO, took part in the presentation of a $5,000 donation to the Mariano Rivera Foundation that helps needy children.
"It was wonderful," Rivera said of the recognition, though he wasn't yet ready to wear the boots.
"Mo looks good in a hat like that," manager Joe Girardi said. "It was nice who they had. ... It's a pretty special group of people that put out there with him."
With the Yankees struggling to score runs - they had only eight runs while managing to split the four-game series - they need pitching like they keep getting from Kuroda (10-6), even if wasn't convinced he had an overly impressive outing.
Kuroda scattered six hits and had three strikeouts with one walk. The right-hander threw 100 pitches on a warm day, though overcast conditions kept the temperature in the low 90s - about 10 degrees cooler than originally forecast. He is 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in four July starts.
"I don't I had any particular pitch that was working well, and from the get-go I didn't have a good outing," Kuroda said through an interpreter. "But I think I was able to get big outs and have a decent outing."
David Robertson worked a 1-2-3 eighth before Rivera took over in the ninth. Rivera allowed an infield single before getting his 33rd save of the season to extend his career record to 641.
It was Rivera's 40th career save against Texas. In 10 playoff appearances against Texas, Rivera pitched 14 scoreless innings with five more saves, including two in both the 1998 and 1999 AL division series the Yankees swept in three games each.
It was the sixth shutout victory this season for the Yankees. Texas was held without a run for the sixth time, already one more than last season.
The Yankees led for good when Brent Lillibridge 's RBI double in the sixth made it 1-0 off Derek Holland (8-6), who pitched into the eighth.
Romine led off the sixth with a double down the left-field line and moved to third on Ichiro Suzuki 's sacrifice bunt before trotting home on the Lillibridge hit.
Holland struck out two and walked one while allowing eight hits, five of them for extra bases. The lefty was gone after a one-out double in the eighth by Robinson Cano , who scored when Eduardo Nunez reached on a fielder's choice grounder.
"I was matching Kuroda pitch for pitch. I did that for a while," Holland said. "I left a pitch up to Cano the last batter, and he got on and got in. ... Great pitcher on the other side."
Notes: The Yankees almost had another run in the seventh but Romine's double to deep center bounced over the wall, forcing David Adams to stop at third instead of scoring before an inning-ending grounder. ... New York had the leadoff hitter on base in five of the first six innings - on four hits and a throwing error by Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre , who also had an error the previous night. Beltre hadn't had errors in consecutive games in two years. ... Yankees SS Derek Jeter said he thinks he'll be ready to play when eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday. The shortstop said he felt good after running bases for the first time Thursday since going on the back on the DL on July 12 with a right quadriceps strain. ... Nunez slid about 15 feet short of second base on a double-play grounder in the third inning. Umpire Kerwin Bell even pointed out the slide mark to Texas 2B Ian Kinsler , who smoothed out some of the clumped dirt before the next pitch.