ARLINGTON -- After a dazzling pitching duel, the Yankees pushed across two runs in the top of the ninth to knock off the Rangers, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
The Yankees trailed, 1-0, after seven before rallying and reinforcing their hold on the lead in the American League Wild Card race. The Rangers are five back of the Yankees while both teams awaited results of other games later on Saturday.
"The team's going to hit," Yankees pitcher Luis Severino said, of being down, 1-0. "They've got to do something. But in my mind, I just was thinking 'I've got to keep this a one-run game.' And that's what I did."
Starlin Castro started the Yankees' rally with a single against Alex Claudio, and he was forced out at second on Aaron Judge's grounder. Jacoby Ellsbury's single to right put runners on first and third, prompting Rangers manager Jeff Banister to bring in right-hander Ricardo Rodriguez.
But Rodriguez hit Todd Frazier to load the bases, and Christopher Austin singled to left to bring home the go-ahead run. Brett Gardner popped out before Rodriguez walked Chase Headley to force in another run.
"To be honest, I was just trying to calm myself down," Austin said. "I was a little nervous walking up there, but once I saw the first pitch, I calmed myself down. I was just trying to get something and not try to do too much with it."
Both starters were outstanding for seven innings while being charged with just one run. Severino allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out 10. It's the fifth time in 28 starts he has struck out at least 10 in a game.
"Their pitchers just shut us down," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "It's like I told the guys, you have to tip your cap. They made good pitches. They are power pitchers, when they're throwing like that, it's tough to hit. Don't worry about it, have a short memory and get ready for tomorrow."
Rangers starter Andrew Cashner took a 1-0 lead into the eighth, but he led off the inning by hitting Frazier. Manager Jeff Banister then went to Claudio, but a single by Matthew Holliday and a sacrifice fly by Headley tied the score.
"I mean, you feel like it's a close game, one hit could change the complexion of the game," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "There were a couple really big hits in this game, one was by Matt Holliday, the pinch-hit, and the good baserunning by Frazier to get to third and create that run for us."
Severino took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but Brett Nicholas came through with a two-out double that brought home Will Middlebrooks from first base. Joey Gallo led off the inning by drawing a walk and Middlebrooks forced him out with a grounder to third base.
Albertin Chapman entered in the ninth inning and earned his 17th save of the season, his first since Aug. 15 after being removed from the closer role on Aug. 19.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gomez makes running catch: Gardner led off the game with a single to center for the Yankees, bringing up Headley. Gardner was running on a 1-0 pitch as Headley hit a pop to shallow right-center, and Gardner never stopped running. But center fielder Carlos Gomez raced in to make a nice running catch before doubling off Gardner at first base.
Gomez exited in the second after rolling his right ankle, and an MRI taken later on revealed a mild sprain.
Managerial maneuvers: Banister pulled Cashner after he hit Frazier with a pitch. Cashner had thrown 99 pitches, and he retired seven straight before hitting Frazier. Banister brought in Claudio to face Greg Bird, but Girardi countered with Holliday as a right-handed pinch-hitter. Holliday singled to right, moving Frazier to third. He scored on Headley's sacrifice fly.
Odor misses double play: Castro started the Yankees' ninth-inning rally with a single and Judge followed with a grounder right at Middlebrooks. It should have been an inning-ending double play, but second baseman Rougned Odor's relay to first pulled Gallo off the bag. Judge ended up being safe.
"You would like to get that double play turned," Banister said. "We turn the double play, we are out of that."
"My job is to go out there and give us a chance to win every fifth day. That's a tough team over there. They're ahead of us. I was just trying to match what Severino was doing, just get us back in the dugout to swing." -- Cashner
REPLAY UPHOLDS NINTH INNING CALL
Andrus led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a high chopper over the mound. Castro made the play, and his throw just beat Andrus at first. The Rangers appealed, but the call was confirmed.
Yankees: Rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery (7-7, 4.14 ERA) starts the series finale on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET. He's had trouble stretching his starts into longer outings, having only thrown into the sixth inning once in his past six starts.
Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin (6-5, 5.09 ERA) starts against the Yankees at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday. Griffin is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in five career starts against the Yankees. He is 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA in his past six starts.
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