Early misplays hurt Yankees, late rally vs Texas falls short
NEW YORK (AP) — Didi Gregorius, Michael Pineda and the New York Yankees never could quite make up for their early mistakes.
Prince Fielder launched two long homers, connecting for a three-run drive after misplays by Pineda and Gregorius, and the Texas Rangers held on for a 10-9 win Friday night that sent the Yankees to their fourth straight loss.
“The walks, the errors that we made — we gave them too many outs and too many baserunners and it cost us the game,” manager Joe Girardi said.
“I look at the extra outs we’ve been giving and that’s the difference in the streak a little bit and it cost us a couple of games,” he said.
Quickly down 7-0 and trailing 10-5 late, New York rallied but still wound up with its eighth loss in nine games.
Pinch-hitter Garrett Jones’ three-run homer in the eighth made it 10-8. Journeyman Ross Ohlendorf took over to begin the ninth, gave up a one-out home run to Mark Teixeira and walked Chase Headley with two outs. Stephen Drew followed with a comebacker that glanced off Ohlendorf, and second baseman Tommy Field swooped in to get the out at first.
Gregorius hit his first homer for the Yankees, a three-run shot in the fourth.
“For me it was good, but it wasn’t good overall because we lost the game. If we won the game, I would appreciate it more,” the shortstop said.
Back home after a 2-7 trip, the Yankees watched Fielder’s three-run shot sail into the second deck during a seven-run burst in the third inning. A wide throw by Pineda (5-2) and a missed grounder by Gregorius set up homers by Fielder and Mitch Moreland.
Fielder added his seventh homer this year in the seventh for an 8-4 lead. Before the game, the Yankees played historic highlights on their videoboard, including a clip of his dad, Cecil, contributing as they won 1996 World Series.
Alex Rodriguez got his 1,992nd RBI, tying Babe Ruth for fourth place on the all-time list. The Yankees cited the Elias Sports Bureau, the statistician of Major League Baseball, and said A-Rod was one behind Lou Gehrig for third. The RBI stat became official in 1920.
Rodriguez doubled early, and his single with two outs in the seventh finished Colby Lewis (4-2). The 35-year-old righty threw only one pitch of his 105 over 90 mph, and was tagged by Gregorius’ three-run homer in the fourth.
Field doubled, singled and drove in two runs for Texas. Yet it was his sacrifice bunt that caused real trouble for the Yankees, with Pineda looking toward a possible forceout at third before throwing wide to first, loading the bases with no outs.
“When I caught the ball, I heard someone yell ‘3, 3, 3’ so it made me a little confused. When I try to throw to first, it was a little late and a bad throw,” Pineda said.
Delino DeShields followed with a grounder in the hole that Gregorius tried to backhand, but the ball bounced him for a two-run error.
“I was trying to get the lead out. They had a speed guy on the bases so I was trying to go to the plate and save the run. It was a bad mistake,” he said. “It wasn’t a good feeling for me or for the team. They got a boost and scored seven runs in the inning.”
After Shin-Soo Choo hit an RBI single, Fielder homered deep to right field. One batter later, Moreland homered to almost the same spot.
“Things happen in a game and nobody’s perfect. But we kept battling, keep playing hard and never gave up. We came back, but fell a little bit short, but it shows that we don’t give up,” Gregorius said.
Yankees: Girardi said he didn’t think OF Jacoby Ellsbury, put on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sprained knee, would be back in 15 days. But Girardi said he didn’t think it would be a long DL stint.
Rangers: Saturday starter Nick Martinez (3-0, 1.88) played two seasons of college ball 3 miles from Yankee Stadium. The 24-year-old righty was 1-3 with a 5.54 ERA in 15 relief appearances at Fordham.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (2-5, 4.67) has won two straight starts after a tough beginning.
Slade Heathcott hustled for a double for his first big league hit, later singled and scored, and also reached on a rare catcher’s interference call for the Yankees. The center fielder played his second game in the majors after pinch running Wednesday.
“I thought the young man played well,” Girardi said. “I thought he did a good job tonight.”
In the ninth inning, a little chant of “Let’s go, Rangers!” broke out. It was for another set of Rangers — New York’s team in the NHL playoffs, taking on Tampa Bay.