Harrison, Rangers struggle in loss to Yankees

BY foxsports • July 27, 2015

Texas left-hander Matt Harrison's search for consistency in his return to major-league action continues.

Harrison, who pitched six shutout innings in his last start in hitter-friendly Coors Field, wasn't nearly as sharp Monday night against the New York Yankees.

Harrison allowed two home runs and was touched for six runs in his six innings of work in a 6-2 loss as the Yankees scored six-straight runs after Texas took an early 2-0 lead.

Harrison (1-2) didn't allow a hit in the first two innings but then things went awry for him.

"I feel like I didn't get loose until about the fifth inning," said Harrison, who has now made three starts since returning from spinal fusion surgery. "The third inning I made some bad pitches to start that inning off and got some trouble there. After us scoring the two runs I went and gave it back to them, gave the momentum right back to them."

The loss continued a terrible run of play for the Rangers at Globe Life Park. Texas, which began a 10-game homestand, has now lost 11 of its last 12 games at home. The Rangers have the worst winning percentage at home in the majors and their 16 wins are the fewest ever after 43 home games.

Texas manager Jeff Banister doesn't think the club has any issue winning at home.

"These are professional players," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and say this is a mental thing. I've never seen it before but I don't believe this is a mental thing and don't think this is a mental thing. There's going to show up in the own ballpark, in their own lockers, in their home uniform in front of their fans and come out here and play. It's not anything other than that."

Harrison ran into big trouble in the third inning after Texas had spotted him a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The Yankees pounced on him for three hits to open the inning, with Didi Gregorius tying the game at 2 with a two-run homer to right and Brendan Ryan following that with a triple.

Chris Young's sacrifice fly to left two batters later put the Yankees up for good. New York got some insurance against Harrison with Alex Rodriguez celebrated his 40th birthday with a solo homer to right in the sixth. 

New York chased him in the top of the seventh after he allowed walk and double to open the inning. Sam Freeman replaced him and gave up a two-run single to right.

The Rangers had chances to help Harrison out with some run support after the second but squandered those. The big miss came in the fourth when Texas loaded the bases with one out. But Ivan Nova got Leonys Martin to hit into a fielder's choice grounder and then Robinson Chirinos grounded out to short to end the threat. 

The Rangers collected five hits off New York starter Ivan Nova in his five innings but then didn't get another against three New York relievers.

While the numbers for Harrison's outing were bad Banister didn't think he pitched poorly.

"Good hitters capitalize on their approach more than anything else," Banister said. "Some hard hit balls and some balls that fell in that weren't hard hit also. I felt that Matt utilized his pitches as good as he could tonight."

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