Andy Not So Dandy
By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Nelson Cruz homered and the Texas Rangers got consecutive two-run doubles from Adrian Beltre and A.J. Pierzynski in an 8-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
Rangers rookie Justin Grimm pitched just well enough to beat Andy Pettitte, and the AL West leaders won for the seventh time in nine games following a six-game slide _ their longest of the season. Texas improved to 6-12 against the Yankees since the start of 2011, both perennial playoff teams this decade.
Lyle Overbay and Ichiro Suzuki homered for New York on a hectic day at Yankee Stadium, where baseball’s most storied franchise announced that first baseman Mark Teixeira needs season-ending surgery on his right wrist.
Manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman also discussed the latest Alex Rodriguez drama, and the team said all parties involved are on the same page about posting injury updates on Twitter after A-Rod called Cashman for a clarification chat.
Grimm (7-5) allowed three runs in five-plus innings for his second straight win over a 2012 division champion.
Pettitte (5-6) settled in after a rocky third but dropped his third start in a row since earning his 250th win. He has struggled since coming off the disabled list June 3 and is 2-6 in his last 10 starts since winning his first three of the season.
Cruz, with little success against the Yankees in recent years, hit a two-run shot off struggling reliever Joba Chamberlain in the seventh to extend Texas’ lead to 6-3 and tie a club record with his fifth consecutive 20-homer season.
Suzuki’s two-run drive in the bottom half was a no-doubter into the second deck in right, the first homer all season off left-handed reliever Robbie Ross.
Not known for his power, Suzuki also hit a game-ending homer in the series opener Tuesday.
Tanner Scheppers worked a perfect eighth, one night after serving up Suzuki’s clutch home run. Joe Nathan got three quick outs for his 26th save in 27 tries.
After an error by center fielder Brett Gardner, Texas scored two unearned runs in the ninth off Shawn Kelley on Lance Berkman’s RBI single and Mitch Moreland’s sacrifice fly.
Beltre finished with three hits.
Overbay, the replacement for Teixeira, hit his ninth homer to the back of the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center to give Pettitte a 1-0 lead in the second. But the left-hander, making his second start since turning 41, gave it right back and nearly got hurt in the process.
No. 9 batter Leonys Martin opened the third with Texas’ second bunt single. Pettitte fielded it but his arm banged into third baseman Jayson Nix as he tried to whirl and rush a throw to first, sending the ball astray.
Pettitte appeared a bit shaken up, so Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue came out to check on him. But the pitcher stayed in the game without trying any warmup tosses _ Nix, actually, might’ve absorbed a bigger blow.
Ian Kinsler walked and Elvis Andrus sacrificed, reaching safely when Nix threw wide to first for an error. Cruz struck out looking but Beltre doubled off the left-field wall on an 0-2 delivery and Pierzynski hit the next pitch to right-center, making it 4-1.
After a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Pettitte retired his next 10 batters and did not permit another run. He yielded three earned runs and six hits in six innings, striking out six.
New York rallied with four straight hits in the sixth, chasing Grimm after the first two. Ross, however, could not put away the left-handed hitters he was brought in to face.
Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner hit consecutive RBI singles, cutting it to 4-3. The Yankees then loaded the bases but Nix grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Coming into the game, Ross had held opposing hitters to 3 for 41 (.073) with runners in scoring position _ the best mark in the majors with a minimum of 20 at-bats.
NOTES: Martin extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games. He had his first multihomer game in Tuesday night’s loss. … Texas RHP Joakim Soria, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, was slated to pitch one inning Wednesday in the rookie level Arizona League. He is expected to join Triple-A Round Rock at the end of the week. … Yankees INF Eduardo Nunez (strained left oblique) was set to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Tampa. … Injured SS Derek Jeter was greeted by balloons and silver tinsel decorating the parking-lot fence when he arrived at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., on his 39th birthday. Jeter, rehabbing his broken left ankle, is on the disabled list on his birthday for the second time (2011). … The Yankees fell to 24-1 when scoring at least five runs. … Rangers LHP Derek Holland (5-4, 3.43 ERA) faces RHP Phil Hughes (3-6, 5.09) in the series finale Thursday afternoon.
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