Rangers handle Yanks behind Hamels, Beltre
NEW YORK -- Adrian Beltre homered and drove in three runs to support Cole Hamels' strong effort as the Rangers defeated the Yankees, 7-1, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
"It has been fun to be on this type of team," Hamels said. "Everybody comes in excited and having fun and pushing each other to another level. That's exciting to see. We have an unbelievable balance in the clubhouse and on the field. Nothing is going to push us over the top or bring us down."
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Beltre enjoyed a three-hit performance, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, reaching on a sixth-inning single and adding an RBI single in the eighth as Texas, which has a Major League-high 51 wins, won its fourth straight contest, including two over the Yankees. Prince Fielder's RBI double in the eighth chased Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who permitted six runs and eight hits as he was handed his fifth loss of the year.
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The run support proved to be plenty for Hamels, who limited the Yankees to six hits over seven scoreless innings as he defeated the club for the first time in his career. Hamels walked one and struck out seven, improving to 9-1 this season. Alex Rodriguez's eighth-inning sacrifice fly accounted for the only Yankees run.
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Extra lift from Beltre: Beltre hit his 11th home run of the season in the first inning, his first since June 3. It was also his first extra-base hit since a double on June 16, as his last 11 hits had all been singles.
"Adrian has been the rock of this team for a while," Ian Desmond said. "He has been the rock on any team he has been on."
Bookends of trouble: Sabathia's line didn't match the quality of his effort, at least in the middle. After Fielder's first-inning single, Sabathia retired 15 of the next 16 hitters he faced, permitting just two singles between the second and seventh innings. The trouble came in his first and last innings of work, with two runs scoring in the first and Sabathia charged with four of Texas' five eighth-inning runs. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Sabathia hurt himself by not fielding Desmond's comebacker in the eighth.
"Just a frustrating night," Sabathia said. "Obviously that eighth inning, getting the balls that I wanted, if I can either make the play or get out of the way, I have a double play right there. Just frustrating, that last inning."
Shot ends rally: The Yankees put two on in the fourth inning when Didi Gregorius blooped a single and Chase Headley reached on a well-placed slow roller to the right side that went for a base hit. Aaron Hicks hit a line drive right at Beltre, and the third baseman doubled off Gregorius at second to end the inning.
"He mixes his stuff," Girardi said of Hamels. "We had some hits, we just never really strung a couple together in one inning. We kind of spread them out. He didn't really walk people, he didn't beat himself. He's thrown well all year and he just continued tonight."
Missed double play costly: The Rangers had a 2-0 lead going into the eighth when Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Desmond reached on an infield single that deflected off Sabathia's glove. Beltre followed with a hard grounder that bounced past Headley at third base, which could have been a double play but instead went for a run-scoring single and set up an even bigger inning.
"That ball, I'm thinking triple play off the bat, or at least trying to," Headley said. "It just took a right turn on me. It was squared up right in the middle of my body, and for whatever reason, it kicked that way. I wish I could have done something different. It's unfortunate for CC, because he threw the ball so well and ends up with some earned runs there that he doesn't deserve. It was one of those balls that took a crazy hop."
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The Hamels-Sabathia matchup was seven years in the making. Had Pedro Martinez defeated Andy Pettitte in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series, these same two pitchers would have started Game 7, with Hamels going for the Phillies and Sabathia for the Yankees.
The Yankees successfully challenged a call at first base in the second inning, as Headley was initially ruled out on a ground ball to shortstop Elvis Andrus. After review, the call was overturned, as first baseman Jurickson Profar's foot wasn't on the base.
The Rangers returned the favor in the third inning, as Beltre was initially ruled out on the back end of what would have been an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play. The call was overturned after review, with Beltre ruled safe on a fielder's choice.
Carlos Beltran was forced to exit in the first inning after feeling tightness in his right hamstring on a single to left field. Girardi said that an MRI came back clean, and Beltran is considered day to day. More>
Rangers: Right-hander Nick Martinez will make his third start for the Rangers on Wednesday against the Yankees in the Bronx (first pitch is 6:05 p.m. CT). He has a 6.10 ERA and two no-decisions in his first two starts.
Yankees:Masahiro Tanaka (5-2, 3.01 ERA) gets the call for Wednesday's 7:05 p.m. ET contest against the Rangers, the third game of this four-game series. Tanaka is coming off a victory over the Twins in which he permitted three runs and seven hits over six innings.
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