Yankees Earn Texas Split
By STEPHEN HAWKINS AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven scoreless innings for his 10th victory, Mariano Rivera got gifts before posting another save and the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Thursday to split the four-game series.
After David Robertson worked a 1-2-3 eighth, Rivera pitched the ninth for his 33rd save this season, extending his career record to 641.
The Yankees took the lead for good when Brent Lillibridge’s RBI double in the sixth made it 1-0 off Derek Holland (8-6).
Kuroda (10-6) scattered six hits and had three strikeouts with one walk. The right-hander threw 100 pitches on a warm day, though overcast conditions kept the temperature in the low 90s _ about 10 degrees cooler than originally forecast. He is 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in four July starts.
It was the sixth shutout victory of the season for the Yankees. Texas was held without a run for the sixth time.
The Rangers honored the retiring Rivera in a ceremony before his last regular-season game in Texas, presenting him with a pair of cowboy boots inscribed with the Yankees logo, his name and No. 42. He was also given a cowboy hat and a $5,000 donation was made to the Mariano Rivera Foundation that helps needy children.
Boots were an appropriate gift considering how Rivera helped kick the Rangers out of the playoffs in the 1990s. In 10 playoff appearances against Texas, Rivera pitched 14 scoreless innings. He had two saves in both the 1998 and 1999 AL division series the Yankees swept in three games each.
The boots were presented by John Wetteland, who before becoming the Rangers’ career saves leader was the Yankees closer and was set up by Rivera during their 1996 World Series championship season. Texas closer Joe Nathan, who had the save in last week’s All-Star game after Rivera pitched the eighth, brought out the hat.
Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, baseball’s strikeout king who is now the Rangers CEO, took part in the check presentation.
No. 9 hitter Austin Romine had a career-high three hits for the Yankees. He led off the sixth with a double down the left-field line, moved to third on Ichiro Suzuki’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Lillibridge’s double.
The Yankees almost had another run an inning later on a ball that Romine hit to deep center. But it bounced once and over the wall onto the hill for a ground-rule double and David Adams, running hard from first with two outs, had to stop at third. Suzuki grounded out to end the inning.
New York had the leadoff hitter on base in five of the first six innings _ on four hits and a throwing error by Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre, who also had an error the previous night.
Holland was gone after a one-out double in the eighth by Robinson Cano, who scored when Eduardo Nunez reached on a fielder’s choice grounder.
The Rangers left-hander struck out two and walked one while allowing eight hits, half of those doubles.
NOTES: Yankees captain Derek Jeter said he thinks he’ll be ready to play when eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday. The shortstop said he felt good after running bases for the first time Thursday since going on the DL after straining his right quadriceps July 11 in his only game this season. … Nunez slid about 15 feet short of second base on a double-play grounder in the third inning. Umpire Kerwin Bell even pointed out the slide mark to Texas 2B Ian Kinsler, who smoothed out some of the clumped dirt before the next pitch. … Beltre hadn’t had errors in consecutive games since he did so twice in a one-week span in June 2011.
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