By HOWIE RUMBERG
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Nick Swisher hit a grand slam off Ryan Dempster
and drove in five runs, Derek Lowe closed with four shutout innings
in his Yankees debut and New York beat the Texas Rangers 8-2 Monday
David Phelps, starting in place of injured ace CC Sabathia,
picked off two runners and pitched a career-high five innings for
In the opener of a four-game series between the teams with the
AL’s best records, the Yankees powered their way to a sixth
straight victory over Texas in the Bronx.
Swisher’s second slam this season was his 200th career homer.
Eric Chavez also homered off Dempster (1-1), the Rangers’ recent
Dempster matched a season high by allowing eight runs. The other
time he allowed eight was in his first start for Texas on Aug. 2.
In three starts since coming from the Chicago Cubs in a
trade-deadline deal, Dempster has allowed 19 runs _ 16 earned _ in
17 1-3 innings.
Ichiro Suzuki tripled and Derek Jeter followed with a long RBI
double in the seventh to end Dempster’s third start for Texas.
Swisher added an RBI single in the seventh as New York won for
the fifth time in six games.
Phelps (3-3) was being held to a 75-80 pitch limit while making
a spot start for Sabathia, who has a sore elbow. Phelps needed 26
pitches in the first without being hit hard. But thanks in part to
a nifty pickoff move, he fulfilled his manager’s wish to make it
through five innings.
Phelps turned over a 5-2 lead to Lowe in the sixth. Designated
for assignment by Cleveland on Aug. 2 and released Friday, Lowe
signed with New York earlier Monday and made his first appearance
since July 31.
Lowe earned his first regular-season save since 2001 while with
Boston, shutting down Texas on two hits. He walked none and struck
Lowe went 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA for the Indians this season, and
he had an 8.80 ERA in his final 12 starts for Cleveland.
The 39-year-old right-hander, a longtime rival of the Yankees
while he pitched for the Red Sox, received little notice from the
fans when his name was called to start the sixth. After retiring
three straight in the seventh, the crowd gave him a loud ovation.
The high-powered Rangers had ample opportunities to break open
the game early against Phelps, making his fourth start and first
since July 4. They scored a run in the first on a broken-bat single
by Nelson Cruz and added another when David Murphy led off the
second with a homer.
Phelps hit Ian Kinsler with a pitch with two outs in the second.
He then picked him off first base to end the inning with Elvis
Andrus at bat. Andrus opened the third with a single and advanced
to second on Adrian Beltre’s infield single with one out. But
Phelps picked off Andrus at second for out No. 2.
Phelps allowed two runs and six hits. He struck out three and
Making his first start in the Bronx since 2000, Dempster retired
his first six hitters then it fell apart in the third, when seven
of the first eight batters reached.
Russell Martin led off with an opposite-field single to right
and Raul Ibanez followed with a hit that fell just in front of
Cruz, the right fielder. Suzuki, batting ninth for the first time
in his career, sacrificed. Jeter fell behind 1-2 before walking to
load the bases.
Swisher lined a shot into the second deck in right for the sixth
slam of his career and a 4-2 lead. Swisher had not homered since
July 19 _ a drought of 61 at-bats _ a day before he injured his hip
flexor and missed six games.
New York loaded bases again without making an out, then Curtis
Granderson got a rise from the fans by hitting a long drive to
center field that was caught just in front of the warning track for
a sacrifice fly.
Dempster still has not beaten New York. He is 0-4 in five starts
against the Yankees.
NOTES: The Yankees have hit a major league-leading nine grand
slams. … A moment of silence was held for Red Sox player, manager
and broadcaster Johnny Pesky, who died Monday at 92. … Yankees
closer Mariano Rivera (torn knee ligament) played catch on flat
ground. Girardi still insisted that Rivera is more than likely not
returning this season. “I don’t see it happening,” he said. …
New York 3B Alex Rodriguez (broken left hand) had a football catch.
He was scheduled to have another X-ray. … Rangers manager Ron
Washington said Andrus will probably get a day at DH this series.
Michael Young was working out at shortstop pregame.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)