Headley Knocks In Winner In Pinstripe Debut
NEW YORK (AP) _ Chase Headley came through with a storybook swing at the stroke of midnight in his Yankees debut, hitting a game-winning single in the 14th inning to give New York a 2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Derek Jeter broke Lou Gehrig’s franchise record for doubles, and the Yankees won an unlikely pitching duel after both rookie starters entered with a 5.10 ERA.
J.P. Arencibia snapped a scoreless tie with a leadoff homer in the 13th against New York reliever David Huff, but the Yankees responded with Brett Gardner’s leadoff double and Jacoby Ellsbury’s tying single off closer Joakim Soria in the bottom half.
Most seats were empty by the time Brian Roberts doubled with one out in the 14th off Nick Tepesch (3-6), who threw 99 pitches over 4 1-3 innings during Sunday’s start in Toronto. Roberts was held at third on Francisco Cervelli’s single before Headley looped a single to left-center just as the clock struck midnight.
Acquired from San Diego in a trade before the game, Headley raised one arm as he ran to first and was soon mobbed by his happy new teammates. He was doused with a sports drink by Gardner during a postgame television interview.
“Unbelievable,” Headley said. “I’m excited to be here. I can’t wait to help, and just to be a part of this great franchise.”
Headley had a great chance to win it in the 12th when he grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Just before that, New York hit into some hard luck when Gold Glove third baseman Adrian Beltre snared Cervelli’s screaming line drive to save the game.
Jeff Francis (1-0) worked a scoreless inning to win his Yankees debut in a game that took 4 hours, 59 minutes.
The teams combined to use 17 pitchers. Minus ailing slugger Mark Teixeira, the Yankees were held scoreless for 17 straight innings by a team with the highest ERA in the American League by half a run.
Looking to upgrade that sagging lineup, New York obtained Headley from the Padres for rookie infielder Yangervis Solarte and minor league pitcher Rafael De Paula.
Headley arrived right around game time and was in uniform shaking hands with his new teammates in the dugout by the top of the second inning. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the eighth and finished 1 for 4. The 2012 Gold Glove winner also made a leaping grab to end the 10th.
Jeter hit his 535th double in the ninth, snapping a tie with Gehrig. Carlos Beltran grounded into an inning-ending double play against Neal Cotts.
It was the longest scoreless game for the Yankees since they beat Boston 2-0 in 15 innings on Alex Rodriguez’s two-run homer Aug. 7, 2009.
New York handed Soria his second blown save in 19 chances, but he kept Texas in it by getting Brian McCann to ground into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners.
Despite allowing a leadoff single in each of the first four innings, Chase Whitley gave the Yankees an excellent outing after going 0-3 with a 12.86 ERA in his previous four starts. The right-hander scattered seven hits over six-plus scoreless innings, striking out six and walking none.
Reinstated from the disabled list before the game, Texas starter Nick Martinez retired 12 in a row after giving up two singles in the first. The streak was snapped by Roberts’ two-out single in the fifth, and Martinez was pulled after a one-out walk in the sixth.
The right-hander went to nearby Fordham in the Bronx and left tickets for 15 former college teammates and two coaches. He also expected to have seven or eight family members in the stands.
NOTES: Rangers RF Alex Rios missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle, but Texas manager Ron Washington hopes Rios will be able to play Wednesday night. Rios ran before the game and was scheduled to go through a full workout during batting practice. … Rangers C Geovany Soto went on the 15-day DL with a strained right groin, less than a week after he returned from right knee surgery that had kept him out all season. … Kelly Johnson started in right field for the first time in his career as manager Joe Girardi rested slumping Ichiro Suzuki. Johnson made a nice running catch in deep right-center to begin the 10th, but came out of the game with a groin injury before the 11th. He was replaced by Suzuki and had an MRI. … Headley is wearing No. 12 with New York. He wore No. 7 in San Diego, which was retired by the Yankees in honor of Mickey Mantle.
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