This was a tale all too familiar for people who have watched the Yankees the last few years. They faced a lefty with good potential in Martin Perez and the offense went into hibernation mode, albeit with bad luck on a few line drives and well-hit balls. In the end though, that is not a valid enough excuse when losing a one-run game and stranding seven runners on base.
The Yankees did take advantage of Perez's shaky control to get on the board first in the top of second. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez worked back-to-back walks to lead off the frame. It seemed like the Yankees would immediately waste the opportunity when Brian McCann bounced into a double play on the first pitch, but Starlin Castro picked him up lacing a single to right field, scoring Teixeira. The timely hit was not an omen of what was to come; the Yankees did not get another hit with a runner in scoring position for the rest of the night.
Texas got the run back against CC Sabathia in the bottom half of the frame. Ryan Rua hit an opposite-field single against the shift and moved to third on Rougned Odor's single to left. Sabathia froze Rua at third on a weak grounder to Chase Headley, but Rua chose to run when Hanser Alberto followed with a comebacker. Although Sabathia did, in fact, check him at third base, his throw to Teixeira was not fast enough. So Teixeira's throw home was too late to catch Rua, though McCann unleashed a quick throw to third, cutting down Odor. The Rangers then took the lead in the next inning when after a leadoff walk and a bunt, Adrian Beltre slashed an RBI single on a ball the caught too much of the plate.
Perez had retired six batters in a row after Castro's hit before he had to face A-Rod again. Playing in his first game back in the lineup since leaving early on Sunday with an oblique injury, A-Rod crushed a long drive to left-center field that soared over the wall for his 690th career homer and 100th at his old home of Globe Life Park (then called The Ballpark in Arlington). It tied the score at 2-2 and was also the 1,000th run of his Yankees career. A-Rod ended up going 3-for-3 with a double as well in his return, which had to be relieving for Joe Girardi.
A two-out walk to Odor spelled trouble for Sabathia in the sixth. Elvis Andrus followed with a base hit to right field that would have been cut off by even a slightly below-average defender. Carlos Beltran is not in the lineup for his defensive acumen anymore though, and the couple steps he took weren't enough. The ball skipped to his right and went all the way to the wall for an RBI triple. Sabathia gave up three runs on five hits and three walks in his six innings of work, but it really that bad of a start at this point in his career. He kept his team close, and three runs allowed by the fifth starter is fine, particularly considering the talent of the Yankees' bullpen.
Sure enough, Johnny Barbato retired all five batters he faced in his first action since last Thursday, and Chasen Shreve got the last out of the eight on one pitch. The Yankees' offense unfortunately remained dormant. They hit into two double plays, stranded seven runners on base, and went down in order during reliever Jake Diekman's two innings. Two runs is just not going to be enough to win most games.
They did try to rally in the ninth against Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson. A-Rod knocked a one-out single and exited in favor of pinch-runner Aaron Hicks. (As an aside, it's a good sign that Girardi felt comfortable using Hicks, meaning they don't think he will need to go on the disabled list since otherwise, they could have backdated a DL stint to Friday). McCann hit a grounder toward the shortstop hole, but it was hit too slowly for Andrus to turn two. Castro had a chance to come through with a two-out single to tie the game. While he did hit a ball to the right side that looked like it might squeak into the outfield, Odor reached it and threw him out. Ballgame.
The Yankees have now lost another series and head into the off-day tomorrow with an 8-12 record. They will have to regroup in Beantown, as they have a three-game set with the Red Sox at Fenway Park beginning Friday night. The pitching matchup will be in their favor, as Masahiro Tanaka squares off against the young Henry Owens. May the Yankees find their winning ways soon.