NEW YORK (AP) _ Masahiro Tanaka rebounded from two rocky outings, Didi Gregorius homered and the New York Yankees held off the Cleveland Indians 3-2 on Sunday after announcing that Alex Rodriguez will play his final game in pinstripes this week.
Mark Teixeira, two days since disclosing his own plans to retire at the end of the season, hit an RBI double and dove toward first base to complete a crucial play on defense. Dellin Betances got four outs for his second save as New York took two of three from the AL Central leaders and finished 5-2 in the season series.
Cleveland, which remained two games ahead of Detroit, has dropped five of seven. Cleanup hitter Mike Napoli was ejected by plate umpire Lance Barrett after getting called out on strikes in the eighth inning.
Hit hard by the Mets in a Subway Series loss last week, Tanaka (8-4) was lifted with a 3-0 lead following Rajai Davis’ leadoff double in the seventh.
Carlos Carrasco (7-6) also bounced back from a poor outing and turned in seven solid innings for the Indians, who tried to rally late.
Davis scored when Adam Warren gave up an RBI single to No. 9 batter Roberto Perez, his second hit of the day after entering in an 0-for-16 slump. With two on, the 36-year-old Teixeira went to his knees to make a sliding stop of Francisco Lindor’s two-out grounder inside the first base line. Teixeira gathered himself and barely beat Lindor to the bag with his outstretched mitt as both players dove headfirst.
The effort drew warm applause from a crowd of 39,720 that also cheered Tanaka as he walked off the mound an inning earlier.
Cleveland scored an unearned run on a wild pitch in the eighth and nearly got something going in the ninth. Chris Gimenez short-hopped the left-field fence with a leadoff drive but was held to a single by Brett Gardner. Second baseman Starlin Castro then started a difficult double play on Carlos Santana’s sharp grounder, and Betances struck out Yankees nemesis Jason Kipnis to end it.
About two hours before the first pitch, Rodriguez and the rebuilding Yankees (56-55) announced the slumping slugger will play Friday night against Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium and then be released. After that, he plans to become a special adviser and instructor with the team next year.
“This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team,” the 41-year-old Rodriguez said, often choking up. “And today I’m saying goodbye to both.”
New York will pay A-Rod the remainder of the approximately $27 million he’s owed as part of his $275 million, 10-year contract.
Rodriguez, relegated to the bench again Sunday, said the agreement arose out of conversations over the past few days with Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner.
Yankees: Rookie catcher Gary Sanchez was rested after playing consecutive games behind the plate. Austin Romine caught Tanaka, and Brian McCann was the DH. … Castro also was rested in favor of Refsnyder but entered on defense in the eighth and appeared in his 1,000th major league game.
Indians: Following an off day, Cleveland opens a two-game interleague series at NL East-leading Washington. RHP Trevor Bauer (7-5, 4.08 ERA) starts Tuesday night against All-Star RHP Max Scherzer (12-6, 2.87). RHP Josh Tomlin will pitch Wednesday for the Indians instead of RHP Mike Clevinger.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (1-6, 6.02 ERA) makes his first major league start since May 13 when New York begins a three-game series Tuesday night in Boston. RHP Rick Porcello (14-3, 3.46) goes for the Red Sox.
RHP Rick Porcello (14-3, 3.46) goes for the Red Sox.
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)