By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Adrian Beltre hit a long home run and
had a pair of RBI singles as the Texas Rangers beat the New York
Yankees 7-3 Wednesday night, winning their sixth consecutive series
to start a season for the first time in franchise history.
Mike Napoli and Mitch Moreland also homered for the two-time
defending AL champion Rangers (15-4), who have the best record in
Texas was ahead to stay after Beltre led off the second against
Phil Hughes (1-3) with his third homer, a 441-foot drive that
landed high on the grassy hill in straightaway center field.
Beltre’s first run-scoring single came an inning later when Texas
added three more runs.
Rookie left-hander Robbie Ross (4-0) struck out two while
working 2 2-3 perfect innings in relief of spot starter Scott
After Elvis Andrus’ RBI groundout in the third, Josh Hamilton
was hit near his right knee by a pitch. Beltre then singled to
right before Michael Young’s double made it 4-0.
Hughes was gone after hitting the next batter, though the inside
pitch only skimmed the wind-blown jersey of Nelson Cruz, who didn’t
seem to realize what had happened until home plate umpire Brian
Runge stepped out and pointed toward first base.
The Rangers have won 12 consecutive regular season series
overall, dating back to last year.
New York had won six road games in a row after their 7-4 victory
in the series opener at Texas. But the Yankees have now lost
consecutive games for the first time since getting swept in three
games at Tampa Bay to start the season.
Derek Jeter had two more hits, extending his hitting streak to
16 games. He raised his average to .420 and his majors-leading hits
total to 34.
Napoli led off the fourth with his seventh homer. That came off
David Phelps, who gave up a leadoff shot to Moreland two innings
later before Beltre had another RBI single.
Raul Ibanez drove in two runs for the Yankees, including a solo
homer that landed deep in the second deck of seats in right field
off Neftali Feliz to start the seventh.
Feliz, the closer-turned-No. 5 starter, pitched an inning of
relief since the Rangers are skipping his turn in the rotation
since his scheduled day to pitch was Thursday.
It was the first relief appearance for Feliz since his blown
save in Game 6 of the World Series, when Texas was twice within a
strike of a championship-clinching victory before losing.
Texas led 4-0 after 2 2-3 innings against Hughes, whose season
ERA increased from 6.75 to 7.88. The big right-hander allowed five
hits, struck out two and then hit two batters in his last inning.
Hughes had allowed only three hits in 15 1-3 scoreless innings
his previous three regular-season appearances against Texas _ all
at Rangers Ballpark. His first major league victory came there in
May 2007, when he threw 6 1-3 scoreless innings in his second major
But there were also those two AL championship series games in
Texas since, when Hughes allowed 11 runs in 8 2-3 innings to lose
both in 2010.
NOTES: Andy Pettitte, the 39-year-old LHP working on a comeback
to the Yankees rotation after a year hiatus, allowed three earned
runs and seven singles in five-plus innings for Double-A Trenton.
He threw 59 of 81 pitches for strikes. … Yankees RHP Michael
Pineda will miss the entire season because of a tear in the labrum
of his right shoulder. He will have arthroscopic surgery Tuesday.
… All three games against the Yankees were sellouts. The Rangers
have already sold every reserved seat for all three games this
weekend against the Rays.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)