ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Joe Torre wasn’t figuring on a lengthy tenure when he signed to manage the New York Yankees before the 1996 season. Now he stands among the managerial giants in Yankee history.
Torre got his 1,000th win as Yankees manager, with Hideki Matsui hitting a three-run homer in an 8-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday that stretched New York’s winning streak to a season-high five games.
Torre has a 1,000-645 record with New York, trailing only Joe McCarthy (1,460), Casey Stengel (1,149) and Miller Huggins (1,067). Torre has the longest uninterrupted term among Yankees managers since Stengel from 1949-60.
“I think 1,000 wins as a Yankee manager is pretty incredible considering the company you’re in,” Torre said. “A thousand is a lot of wins, especially when you signed a two-year contract back in ’96. The Yankee record book is a special place to be. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here this long.”
Overall as a manager, Torre is 1,894-1,648, including stints with the New York Mets, Atlanta and St. Louis.
“I’m very proud of him,” Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said through spokesman Howard Rubenstein. “He’s making the right moves. He knows how to lead the team, and he’s shown great leadership.”
Players credit Torre for his even-tempered disposition and ability to handle different personalities.
“Look at the job he’s done,” Bernie Williams said. “He’s done just about everything that needed to be done to get the organization back to where it should be.”
Chien-Ming Wang (2-1) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings for New York, which took a 7-1 lead and held on.
After Michael Young hit a run-scoring single in the ninth off Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira nearly hit a two-run homer, with the ball going just foul in right. Rivera then retired him on a game-ending groundout.
Matsui, the designated hitter for only the second time this season, went 2-for-2 and walked three times as New York completed a three-game sweep, its first at Arlington since 2000 in a series of three or more games.
Matsui was playing in his 516th straight game for the Yankees and 1,766 in a row counting his Japanese League career.
“It was kind of a day off for him,” Torre said. “Just running back and forth from left field can take its toll.”
New York, which had a five-run inning for the third straight day, improved to 11-0 in day games, the longest streak at the start of a season since the Seattle Mariners won their first 17 in 2003. The Yankees headed home after the game for a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox that starts Tuesday night.
Gary Sheffield’s sore left wrist kept him out of the lineup for the second straight day, and the right fielder said he won’t play again until he’s completely healthy.
Robinson Tejeda (1-1), making his first career start against the Yankees and 15th of his major league career, allowed six runs and six hits in three-plus innings. The Rangers have lost their last eight games against the Yankees.
“We didn’t do our jobs offensively,” Young said. “We didn’t have a homer, so give their pitchers credit. They made the pitches, changed speeds, and we didn’t make the right adjustments.”
Williams, starting in right in place of Sheffield, hit an RBI groundout in the second, but Gerald Laird’s run-scoring groundout tied it in the third.
Matsui homered in the fourth following Giambi’s walk and Alex Rodriguez’s single, and Stinnett’s two-run single chased Tejeda, who faced seven batters in the inning and didn’t retire any.
“That three-run homer seemed to take the air out of them,” Torre said.
Williams made it 8-3 with an RBI single in the seventh. Tanyon Sturtze loaded the bases in the bottom half on two walks around a wild throw to second on an attempt to get a double play.
“I wanted to wring his neck,” Torre said.
Scott Proctor relieved and got Adrian Brown to hit an RBI groundout that bounced off Giambi to second baseman Robinson Cano, who threw to Proctor at first. Proctor then retired Young on a grounder and struck out Teixeira.
The Rangers’ Brad Wilkerson extended his hitting streak to 10 games, matching his career high with the Montreal Expos in 2003. … The Rangers’ Gary Matthews Jr. left for a pinch runner in the sixth after sustaining a slight quad injury while running the bases. … Yankees RHP Carl Pavano allowed three unearned runs and four hits in five innings for Single-A Tampa in a minor league rehabilitation start on Sunday.