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Feldman, Rangers stop the Yankees

June 3, 2009 7:32:11 PM PDT
Scott Feldman pitched into the seventh inning to win his third consecutive start and the Texas Rangers cooled off the New York Yankees with a 4-2 victory Wednesday night. Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus each had two hits for Texas, which leapfrogged New York for the best record in the American League. Feldman (5-0) allowed two runs, one earned, and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Jorge Posada homered for the second straight day for New York, which had won five of six and 16 of 20. Andy Pettitte, who left his previous start with a stiff back, looked shaky in his five-inning outing.

The Yankees were without first baseman Mark Teixeira, scratched with a bruised right ankle. Teixeira was injured when he made a hard slide into Andrus to break up a double play in New York's 12-3 victory Tuesday night.

C.J. Wilson replaced Feldman with a runner on first in the seventh and got Brett Gardner to ground into a fielder's choice before Derek Jeter took a called third strike to end the inning. Wilson then worked the eighth before Frank Francisco got three outs for his 12th save in 12 opportunities.

Feldman, Wilson and Francisco skillfully adhered to the scouting report on Yankee Stadium, keeping the ball down at New York's cozy new home. Hideki Matsui's fly ball to center for the second out in the ninth was the only putout by a Rangers outfielder.

Posada's drive leading off the seventh was his eighth of the season and No. 91 at the $1.5 billion field. The record for most homers in the first 25 games at a major league ballpark is 95 at Houston's Enron Field in 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Pettitte (5-2) never looked comfortable on a damp and unseasonably cold night in the Bronx. A steady rain fell on the field for about two hours but it let up right before the game, delaying the start by 12 minutes before giving way to a chilly, 55-degree evening.

Pettitte uncharacteristically issued leadoff walks in three of the first four innings and finished with a season-high six in his shortest outing of the year. The 37-year-old lefty walked five in his previous start against Cleveland before leaving in the sixth with a stiff back.

The Rangers took advantage of Pettitte's control problems to score three times in the first. Kinsler walked and scored on Nelson Cruz's one-out single. Murphy followed Cruz's hit with another walk, setting up Marlon Byrd's run-scoring fielder's choice.

Texas wasted a chance for an even bigger start when Byrd was thrown out at third trying to advance on Chris Davis' RBI single, ending the inning.

Pettitte hurt himself again in the second, throwing wildly to first on a pickoff attempt. Andrus advanced to second on the error, stole third and scored on Kinsler's single to make it 4-1.

The 20-year-old Andrus also made two great plays at shortstop to take hits away from Robinson Cano.

Notes: Yankees RHP Chien-Ming Wang will start Thursday against Texas, pushing LHP CC Sabathia back to Friday night against Tampa Bay. RHP Phil Hughes will work out of the bullpen for now. ... The Rangers purchased RHP Doug Mathis' contract from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned reliever Warner Madrigal to their top farm club. Texas also moved RHP Willie Eyre (strained right groin) to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Mathis. ... C Jose Molina re-injured his strained left quadriceps during a simulated game at the Yankees' complex in Florida on Monday. Team doctors were going to compare Molina's MRI exam Tuesday to a previous one to determine the extent of the injury, but general manager Brian Cashman said Molina will be out another two to four weeks at least.


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