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Yankees, A-Rod Shine in Return to Texas

July 25, 2006

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Randy Johnson struck out seven to win the matchup of the last two pitchers to throw no-hitters, slumping Alex Rodriguez returned to Texas with two hits and an error-free game, and the New York Yankees beat the Rangers 6-2 on Monday night.

Lustily booed by the fans of his former team _ the one that gave him the record $252 million contract _ Rodriguez snapped an 0-for-11 streak with a single in the fourth and then scored the go-ahead run. The two-time AL MVP finished 2-for-5, adding an RBI double in the seventh, but still has only six hits his last 32 at-bats.

A-Rod, the converted Gold Glove shortstop who had five errors in a five-game stretch at third base last week, cleanly fielded the three balls hit his way by the Rangers _ two of them infield singles.

Johnson (11-8) threw 101 pitches over six innings, allowing two runs and seven hits with two walks. The 42-year-old threw 129 pitches in his last start Wednesday, when he struck out a season-high 11 in a loss to Seattle.

Kevin Millwood (10-6) allowed five runs, two earned. He struck out two and walked two in six innings.

There have been more than 5,700 major league games since Johnson’s perfect game for Arizona against Atlanta on May 18, 2004. Millwood threw his no-hitter for Philadelphia against San Francisco on April 27, 2003.

Buck Showalter missed his second consecutive game, a precaution advised by a team doctor after the Texas manager sat out a game in Chicago and spent a night in the hospital for dehydration. Showalter had said two hours before the game that he planned to be on the bench.

Melky Cabrera, moved from eighth to leadoff in the Yankees batting order after Johnny Damon was scratched because of a sore back, went 3-for-4 with a triple, double, two runs scored, a walk and a stolen base. Derek Jeter had an RBI triple and a double.

Aaron Guiel hit his fifth home run for the Yankees, who had lost four of their previous five games. New York is 4-0 in Arlington this season, having swept the Rangers in May.

Mark Teixeira led off the Texas second with his 14th homer, a 420-foot line shot that hit the top of a scoreboard in left field. He had an RBI single in the fifth, but made the third out on the same play when he overslid second base.

Rodriguez started the fourth with a single, and scored on a two-run double by Miguel Cairo that made it 3-1. Bernie Williams reached on a fielding error by first baseman Teixeira, making both runs unearned.

An inning later, Rodriguez reached on a fielder’s choice, a grounder to third. Mark DeRosa threw home trying to prevent a run, but short-hopped the throw for an error. Cabrera, who led off with a double, scored another unearned run to make it 4-1.

The Yankees got their first run in the third after consecutive triples by Cabrera and Jeter.

Rodriguez caught a foul pop in the fifth, and an inning later made a clean pickup of an unexpected bunt by Gerald Laird, the speedy catcher who beat out the throw with a headfirst slide. A-Rod also fielded a slow, high-hopping infield single by DeRosa in the eighth.

Notes: Johnson has 4,493 strikeouts, third on the career list behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Roger Clemens (4,529). ... SS Michael Young, in the Rangers’ first home game since he was the All-Star game MVP, was 2-for-5 and made a nifty defensive play, sprinting into short center and catching a popup with his back to the infield. ... The switch-hitting Teixeira has seven homers against left-handed pitchers, seven against right-handers. ... Both teams had 10 hits and left 10 runners on base.

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