NEW YORK -- The Rangers pulled off another come-from-behind win on Monday night. They just had to sit through a three-hour, 35-minute rain delay in the ninth inning to complete their comeback and pull off a 9-6 victory over the Yankees.
This one will go down as one of the strangest games in club history, and it actually ended Tuesday morning, but all the Rangers care about is they won their third straight (50th overall) and 11th in their last 13 games.
"Got to play the game, you might as well win it," designated hitter Prince Fielder said. "This was my first like that and hopefully my last. This is the last one I want to do like that."
This one finally came to an end at 2:44 a.m. ET in the Bronx with closer Sam Dyson getting Jacoby Ellsbury, representing the tying run, to fly out to left to end the game.
"Once again, we don't give up and we don't quit," Dyson said. "We continued to fight three hours later. It means a lot, to start the road trip off, to start the series off."
"Just another line in the chapter," manager Jeff Banister said. "That's all it is. I'm not going to argue with it. I'm not going to make it more than it is or less than it is. The bigger story is how this group of players wanted to play. They wanted the opportunity to play the game on the field and play to the last out. They stayed loose, go out and play and give it their best opportunity. That's all they wanted."
The Rangers did that with a ninth-inning rally that included a pair of run-scoring singles by Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus.
"That's what we were telling ourselves when we heard the game was going to resume at 2:15," Beltre said. "Let's make something happen, get a win, go back to the room and get some rest. I don't think I've ever been in a situation like that before."
The Yankees started the game 20 minutes late because of the threat of approaching inclement weather that did not materialize until midway through the game. The final four innings were played in a light rain that grew harder, but the umpires kept the game going until the ninth as the players fought through the elements.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman entered the game to protect a one-run lead, but he walked Robinson Chirinos on five pitches. That brought up Shin-Soo Choo, and Chapman fell behind 3-1 on him.
That's when Yanks manager Joe Girardi went out to talk with the umpires. They all went to the mound for further discussions, and time was called at 10:40 p.m. As the grounds crew pulled out the tarp, Banister vented his feelings with the umps.
"I think our intention was to try and finish that game," crew chief Paul Nauert said. "You've got to give both teams an equal, fair opportunity. We were going to wait as long as we could."
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 asked the umpire, 'Can I just make sure the mound is OK and maybe give him a fresh rosin bag. His hands are dry,'" Girardi said. "I didn't ask him to stop the game. To me, the game should've been stopped earlier than that. 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. But it did. We lost."
The Rangers were not happy the game got stopped.
"We didn't think it was fair," Beltre said. "We played in the rain the whole game. Our pitchers were the same way, nobody called the game until the ninth inning when we started rallying. I don't know the rules, but it wasn't fair."
The Rangers didn't let it bother them.
"We were playing cards, listening to music, messing with [coach] Bobby Jones, nobody took a nap," Andrus said. "We really wanted to come back and play, that is one thing for sure. The whole team was ready to come back and play, even if it was at 5 a.m."
The Rangers didn't have to wait that long. Chapman did not return to the mound, and the Rangers scored four with reliever Kirby Yates on the hill to win the game.