Chapman, Yankees weather heavy rain, hold off Rangers 5-3
NEW YORK (AP) — Somehow, Aroldis Chapman was able to prevent this game from slipping away.
“You concentrate on the catcher, you try to keep your hand as dry as possible, you try to keep the ball as dry as possible and you want to make sure you land firmly,” Chapman said through a translator. “At the end of day, look at the catcher and hit the target.”
Rookie Miguel Andujar hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning and Yankees newcomer Lance Lynn turned in another strong start. New York has won five of six.
Chapman took over to begin the ninth and the Rangers tried to rally with a walk and a single. With home plate beginning to turn into a puddle, Chapman hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch to load the bases with two outs. The hard-throwing lefty has struggled with his command of late, allowing three runs with five walks over his previous two appearances.
“Almost every single ball I was throwing back to him was soaked,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said. “I can’t imagine him throwing strikes at 100 mph. It was pretty incredible.”
After falling behind Profar in the count 3-1, Chapman then came back to get him to swing through a 98 mph fastball to secure his 30th save in 32 chances.
“It’s not always going to be easy,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “We did a lot of good things today and found a way to win a game when it was hard. A good win considering the conditions.”
On June 27, 2016, in fact, Chapman was called on to protect a one-run lead against Texas amid steady showers. On a slippery mound, he walked the leadoff hitter and soon there was a delay of more than 3 1/2 hours in a game New York ultimately lost.
Profar also struck out with runners on second and third to end the seventh. Texas had tied it at 3 earlier that inning after recently acquired reliever Zach Britton was again shaky.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 29th home run, connecting for the fourth time in five games for the Yankees.
Stanton singled off Chris Martin (1-3) in the seventh and Andujar hit his 17th home run. Andujar leads all rookies with 56 RBIs.
Martin, who hadn’t allowed a homer over his last 19 appearances, stood off the mound with his hands on his knees watching the ball sail over the wall.
“I’ve got to know the situation better,” Martin said. “It’s a tie game, runner on first. He’s looking for a fastball in the zone and I laid it up there for him, put it on a tee and he did his job.”
Greg Bird, who began the day in a 4-for-40 slump, had two doubles for the Yankees.
Acquired from Minnesota on July 30 for infielder Tyler Austin, Lynn was solid in his second start for New York. He began his Yankees career with 14 scoreless innings before Elvis Andrus‘ RBI single in the third. Allie Reynolds and Slow Joe Doyle share the team record with 18 1-3 scoreless innings to begin their Yankees careers.
Lynn allowed one run in five innings and struck out eight.
Britton, dealt from Baltimore to the Yankees shortly before the trade deadline, walked home a run in the seventh and was pulled. Dellin Betances (3-3) balked home the tying run.
Britton has allowed five runs on six hits and six walks in 6 1/3 innings since joining New York.
Making his second start with his new team, Drew Hutchison gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Yankees: Stanton continues to deal with a sore left hamstring, Boone said. Although the All-Star has yet to miss a start, Stanton has been limited to designated hitter duties in six of the last eight contests . INF Neil Walker returned to the lineup after missing Friday night’s game with a sore neck and an illness. After receiving treatment, Walker returned to action and made his first career start in right field.
Rangers: OF Nomar Mazara (right thumb sprain) went 0 for 4 Friday night as the designated hitter for Triple-A Round Rock. Manager Jeff Banister is hopeful to see Mazara play consecutive nine-inning games in the field before being activated. Mazara logged five innings in right in his fist rehab game on Aug. 9.
Of Andujar’s 17 home runs, eight have either tied the game or given New York the lead. The young third baseman has four go-ahead hits in the seventh inning or later, to lead the team.
In a matchup of left-handers, Texas’ Martin Perez (2-4, 6.15 ERA) takes on CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.49 ERA) in the series finale. Perez has posted allowed 12 earned runs in 12 2-3 career innings against New York, despite a 2-1 record, while Sabathia looks for his 12th career victory over the Rangers.