NEW YORK -- For the Rangers, Monday night was worth the wait.
With the Yankees leading by one run and a runner on first base following a leadoff walk issued by closer Aroldis Chapman to Robinson Chirinos in the top of the ninth inning, the game entered into a three-hour, 35-minute rain delay, beginning at 10:40 p.m. ET. After the delay, Kirby Yates entered the game to pitch for the Yankees and couldn't secure his second career save, allowing a two-run single to Adrian Beltre and an RBI single to Elvis Andrus as the Rangers won, 9-6.
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"Yeah, I think that's the Rangers [of] 2016 -- you never know what's going to happen," Andrus said. "Tremendous effort. I think the whole team did a good job."
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The choice to delay the game belonged solely to the crew chief, first-base umpire Paul Nauert, not managers Joe Girardi and Jeff Banister. Being that the game had lasted longer than five innings, Nauert was within his rights to call the game, but he elected not to, leading to the delay. A game can be suspended if the visiting team has scored to take a lead in the top half of the inning, but since that was not the case, the only alternative to waiting out the rain was to call the game. That would have resulted in a 6-5 Yankees victory.
"I think our intention was to try and finish that game," Nauert said. "You've got to give both teams an equal, fair opportunity. We were going to wait as long as we could."
"I don't know if that matters," Banister said. "What matters is they allowed this game to be completed. The umpires made their decision based on the conditions of the field. There was agitation on both sides, but I felt the umpires handled the entire situation in a professional manner."
Girardi said after the game that he was not happy with Nauert's decision-making process, expressing disappointment that the umpires waited as long as they did to call for a delay.
"To me, the game should've been stopped earlier than that," Girardi said. "We played in horrible conditions and I think you risk injuries to players. We saw a bunch of their outfielders slip. It's hard for me to understand what happened tonight, how it got to this point."
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Prior to the delay, the Yankees broke out offensively with 15 hits, 13 of which were singles and five of which came with runners in scoring position. Mark Teixeira provided the big blast, smacking the Yanks' first non-single of the day, a home run to lead off the seventh inning that extended the Yankees' lead to 6-4. It was Teixeira's second home run in two days after he went all of May and most of June without hitting one.
The Yankees' bullpen wasn't at its best but still had a chance to close it out. Dellin Betances tossed a 1-2-3 seventh and struck out one batter, but Andrew Miller allowed a solo home run to Rougned Odor in the eighth and Chapman walked the first batter he faced and was behind in the count to the next batter, Shin-Soo Choo, before the game was delayed.
Chi Chi Gonzalez, making his first start for the Rangers after being called up from Triple-A, allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks in five innings. Gonzalez was called up after Colby Lewis went on the disabled list with a strained muscle in the back of his right shoulder that is expected to keep him out for at least two months.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Chapman slips up: With the game set up perfectly for Chapman to close things out in the ninth, the Yanks' closer struggled with command against the two batters he faced, walking one and falling behind the other before the game went into the delay.
"It's very wet out there," Chapman said. "I was trying to find a way that would allow me to do my job. So I was doing the best I could. The ball was getting wet easily out there, so the best thing to do is keep asking for a new one and try to get a good grip and try to do a good job."
Hit-by-pitches set up rally: After play resumed, Yates took over for Chapman in the ninth and struck out Choo for the first out. Then he loaded the bases by hitting Ian Desmond and Nomar Mazara, with both batters getting plunked in 1-2 counts. Beltre followed with his two-run single.
"I just wanted to get that run in," Beltre said. "I didn't want to leave that guy out there. I don't think I have ever been in a situation like this, but it was nice to get the win."
Tex to the max: After Teixeira broke out of the longest homerless streak of his career (147 at-bats) on Sunday, he followed it up with another spectacular showing Monday. Teixeira went 3-for-5 with a home run, his fifth of the season and the 399th of his career, and also scored from second on a single by Chase Headley in the second, showing that the knee injury that kept him out of the lineup for three weeks is behind him.
Barnette gets win:Tony Barnette picked up the win for the Rangers by pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Barnette held the Yankees to 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position during the short time he was on the mound. He struck out three in his fifth win of the season.
"He continues to throw the ball well," Banister said. "We have challenged him in some tough situations and he has proven he is obviously worth every opportunity."
In the bottom of the ninth, Starlin Castro beat out a grounder to short to lead off the inning. The Rangers challenged the close play at first, but it was ruled that the call stands.
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The Rangers became the first team to win 50 games this season, and they established a franchise record by reaching 50 victories in just 77 games.
Rangers: Left-hander Cole Hamels pitches for the Rangers on Tuesday against the Yankees in the Bronx (6:05 p.m. CT first pitch). Hamels has won three straight starts, with a 0.87 ERA in that stretch. He is looking for his first career win against the Yankees.
Yankees: Despite struggling his last time out, veteran lefty CC Sabathia is in the middle of one of the best stretches of his career and will look to continue that for the Yanks on Tuesday (7:05 p.m. ET first pitch). Despite walking batters at a near career-high rate, Sabathia has dominated to the tune of a 2.71 ERA this season thanks in large part to his career-best 0.4 home runs per nine innings rate.
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