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Rangers survive Yanks' rally in 9th in nail-biter

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NEW YORK (AP)

Thanks to quick reactions by their rookie shortstop, the Texas Rangers escaped with a victory after a nerve-racking ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Elvis Andrus turned Melky Cabrera's line drive into a game-ending double play, and Texas held off the New York Yankees 10-9 on Tuesday night in a potential playoff preview. "It's a win. I don't think it's any bigger than any other one," Michael Young said. "Obviously, you come to New York, the game's never over. Especially in this ballpark, against this lineup, with that crowd getting that fired up."
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Young and Nelson Cruz homered for the Rangers, who scored seven two-out runs off Joba Chamberlain to overcome an early four-run deficit. They took a 10-5 lead into the ninth before New York started storming back against Texas' bullpen. Jason Grilli allowed a leadoff single and a walk before he was relieved by closer Frank Francisco. Alex Rodriguez walked, Hideki Matsui lined an RBI single and slow-footed Jorge Posada knocked in a run with a rare infield single. Robinson Cano's two-run single cut it to 10-9 and left runners at first and second with nobody out. But Nick Swisher popped up a foul bunt attempt for the first out and Cabrera hit a low liner to shortstop that Andrus caught on the fly. Pinch-runner Jerry Hairston Jr. tried to scramble back to second base, but Andrus beat him by a half-step for the final out. "My first idea was to let the ball hit the ground," Andrus said. "Right there you just want two outs any way you can." Andrus also drove in a career-best three runs from the No. 9 spot in the lineup. About an hour after the game ended, he turned 21 years old. "I don't think I'm going to do (anything). I'm pretty tired tonight," Andrus said with a smile. "I'll probably just go and have dinner with my sister." Josh Hamilton had four hits and Kevin Millwood rebounded from a rocky start, exemplifying the gritty pitching that's put the surprising Rangers in contention for their first postseason berth since 1999. Texas took the opener of a three-game series against the AL East-leading Yankees and remained 1 1/2 games behind Boston in the wild-card race. "We believe we can beat anybody, no doubt about that. But to put 10 runs on the board, you feel like you should win that game, and that's what was big for us," Millwood said. Young, the AL player of the week last week, also had three RBIs. Posada and Cano homered for the Yankees, who lost for only the fifth time in 21 games. They still own the best record in the majors at 78-47, but their division lead over the Red Sox was trimmed to six games. Prized prospect Neftali Feliz replaced Millwood (10-8) in the sixth and shut down the powerful Yankees for two innings with a fastball that consistently registered in the high 90s (mph). Coming off a 7-3 road trip, New York dropped to 41-19 at the new Yankee Stadium, still the best home mark in the big leagues. "I just didn't get it done," Swisher said. "I would've loved to see what could've happened if I could get the bunt down." Pitching on eight days' rest, Chamberlain (8-4) again failed to get deep in the game. Unable to put away hitters with two strikes or end innings with two outs, he threw 96 pitches in four innings. The 23-year-old right-hander was dominant in his first three starts after the All-Star break, but then the Yankees began altering his schedule because they want to limit how many innings he throws this season. He's having a hard time adjusting. "It is what it is. You can only work with what you've got," Chamberlain said. "I didn't make my pitches and that's all there is to it." After going 3-0 in his first three outings after the break, Chamberlain is 1-2 in his last four with an 8.55 ERA (19 earned runs in 20 innings). Millwood won for the second time in nine starts. "They scored nine runs after two outs and nobody on. That's not something you see very often," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It was finishing the inning that was the problem tonight. Knowing Joba, I'm sure it's really frustrating for him."

Notes

Cano's homer off the bottom of the left-field foul screen in the fourth was upheld by umpires after a brief video review. It was his career-high 20th homer and it gave the Yankees six players with 20 home runs for the third time in team history (1961, 2004). ... Chamberlain is slated to start again Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. ... Matsui has 18 RBIs in his last eight games. ... Ivan Rodriguez got his first stolen base of the season.
Tagged: Rangers, Yankees

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