The Texas Rangers could return to New York if they play well enough to reach the postseason. Continued success against the Yankees could help them get there.
The Rangers look for a third straight victory when they face the Yankees on Wednesday night.
Josh Hamilton(notes) had four hits while rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus(notes) drove in a season-high three runs and made a key defensive play to help Texas (70-54) hold on for a 10-9 win over the AL East-leading Yankees on Tuesday.
Looking to reach the postseason for the first time since 1999, the Rangers are 1 1/2 games behind wild-card leader Boston and four back of the West-leading Los Angeles Angels.
Texas is 3-4 this season against New York (78-47), which has baseball’s best record and a six-game lead in the East.
“We believe we can beat anybody, no doubt about that. But to put 10 runs on the board, you feel like you should win that game, and that’s what was big for us,” Tuesday’s winning pitcher Kevin Millwood(notes) said.
After dropping four of six heading into the series, Texas rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to take a 10-5 lead and held on despite the Yankees scoring four times in the ninth.
Andrus, who turned 21 on Wednesday and is batting .364 in his last nine games, caught Melky Cabrera’s(notes) line drive and stepped on second base to double off Jerry Hairston Jr.(notes) for a game-ending double play.
New York dropped to 41-19 at the new Yankee Stadium, still the best home mark in the majors.
Texas’ Nelson Cruz(notes) hit his 27th homer and has four with seven RBIs this season against the Yankees, who hope to bounce back with another big night against Texas rookie Derek Holland(notes) (7-7, 4.72 ERA).
The 22-year-old left-hander allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 9-2 loss at home to New York on May 27. He also gave up two runs in 1 1-3 innings out of the bullpen during a 12-3 loss at Yankee Stadium on June 2.
Despite his struggles against the Yankees, Holland is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts since losing at Oakland on Aug. 4. He allowed one run in 5 1-3 innings of an 11-1 win over Minnesota on Thursday.
Matsui, who has 18 RBIs in his last eight games, is batting .348 with three home runs and 10 RBIs against the Rangers this season.
While he wasn’t sharp in his most recent appearance, Pettitte is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his last five starts.
The left-hander is 9-9 with a 5.56 ERA in 21 starts against the Rangers. He allowed four runs while walking six in five innings to take the loss in a 4-2 defeat to Texas on June 3.