John Thomson hopes his second career trip to Yankee Stadium goes as well as his first visit more than two months ago.
Thomson had never been to Yankee Stadium, either as a player or fan, before May 18, when he pitched a five-hitter in a 5-1 victory over New York. That helped Texas complete its first three-game road sweep of the Yankees.
Thomson struck out a season high-tying nine and worked around five walks for his first complete game since 2001.
“That was huge,” Thomson said of the victory.
Thomson has pitched effectively of late, winning four of his last five starts, including Friday’s 10-3 victory over Cleveland. He allowed three runs and five hits over eight innings, striking out one without a walk.
The Yankees got their six-game homestand off to a good start Tuesday, cruising to a 6-2 win behind seven solid innings from Roger Clemens.
The Rangers had won seven of eight prior to Tuesday’s loss. Alex Rodriguez became the 35th player in big league history to play in 500 consecutive games, but failed in his bid to homer for a fifth straight contest, going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Texas has dropped six of eight on the road.
STANDINGS: Rangers - 4th place, 21 GB, AL West. Yankees - 1st place, AL East.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Thomson (9-10, 5.34 ERA). Thomson is 1-0 with a 5.14 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees.
YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: David Wells (12-3, 3.68 ERA). Wells, New York’s most consistent starter this season, has pitched through back pain in each of his last two outings. The burly left-hander allowed a run and six hits over seven strong innings in the Yankees’ 2-1, 10-inning victory at Anaheim on Thursday. Wells is 6-1 over his last 11 starts, yielding two earned runs or fewer six times during that stretch. He is 10-10 with a 4.78 ERA in 40 career appearances, including 28 starts, against the Rangers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Hank Blalock, .318 avg.; Rodriguez, 28 HRs, 83 runs and 12 SBs.; Rafael Palmeiro, 76 RBIs. Yankees - Matsui, .297 avg.; Giambi, 32 HRs and 87 RBIs; Alfonso Soriano, 80 runs and 27 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 4-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - RHP Thomson is 5-6 with a 5.13 ERA in 13 road starts this year. … SS Rodriguez joined Oakland’s Miguel Tejada (535) as the only players with active streaks of 500 or more consecutive games. … Texas had scored at least seven runs in eight straight games prior to Tuesday. Yankees - LHP Wells is 5-3 with a 5.21 ERA in 10 home starts this season. … SS Jeter’s multi-homer game Tuesday was his first of the season and fourth of his career. He also has a pair of leadoff homers this year. … Two injured Yankees had workout sessions in Florida on Tuesday. Newly acquired LHP Gabe White and Jose Contreras both threw from 90 feet. Contreras is scheduled to throw a rehab assignment Thursday in the Gulf Coast League.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 19-35 on the road; Yankees - 31-21 at home.
INJURIES: Rangers - OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (rib), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 15-day DL; RHP Ismael Valdes (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL. Yankees - RHP Contreras (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP White (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL.