Yankees 4, Rangers 2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Gary Sheffield gingerly holds his gimpy left shoulder close to his body these days, wincing with every painful step or swing of the bat.
His right arm, however, is feeling just fine.
Sheffield ended a Rangers scoring opportunity in the first with a perfect throw home for the final out of the inning, and the New York Yankees kept Texas scoreless from there in a 4-2 win on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t think it was going to be a low-scoring game,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said, “but Sheff’s throw kept it from getting out of hand.”
Sturtze (4-2), moved into the rotation Tuesday because Javier Vazquez has pink eye, started poorly but recovered enough to give the Yankees a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits in the first, but held the Rangers scoreless from there. He allowed only five hits overall with one walk and one strikeout in his first start since bruising his right pinkie in the Yankees’ bench-clearing brawl with Boston three weeks ago.
“I give Sturtze a lot of credit,” Torre said. “After the first inning, it looked like it could turn into something ugly. Sturtze flirted with danger, but he kept battling.”
That trio of relievers is 21-3 in games that they’ve each appeared out of the bullpen.
“We’re all trying to do our job and it’s been working,” Rivera said. “It’s a great thing to have … three guys who can shut the game down.”
Jeter gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first with a shot to left-center that barely cleared the fence for his 15th homer.
But Sheffield, who’s considering a second cortisone shot in his achy left shoulder, ended the threat by fielding Brian Jordan’s pop fly then making a terrific throw to nail Hank Blalock at the plate for the third out.
“Sheffield’s throw changed the whole outlook of the game,” Sturtze said. “He came up huge.”
Said Torre: “That’s pretty amazing. He’s been having some physical problems.”
Regilio (0-4) lost his fourth straight game, allowing three runs and two hits in three innings. The 25-year-old rookie walked four and struck out one.
Afterward, Texas manager Buck Showalter hinted that Regilio might have made his last start for the Rangers this season.
“We’ll sit down and talk about it,” Showalter said. “There’s a lot to look at. If you make the decision to do something with Nick … it’s something we’ll think about.”
Predictably, former Ranger Alex Rodriguez was booed every time he came up to bat. He finished 1-for-5 and grounded out on his last at-bat, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd of 43,729.
Jeter extended his season-high hitting streak to 12 games. … The temperature at the start of the game was an unseasonably cool 80 degrees. … Matthews was back in the starting lineup after being replaced by Jordan the past two games. Matthews had started every game in right field since the All-Star break.