NEW YORK -- Nelson Cruz hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning, helping the Texas Rangers earn an 8-5 victory over the New York Yankees on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Cruz collected his 20th home run when he turned on a first-pitch curveball from Joba Chamberlain and sent it over the left field wall. He tied the club record by reaching 20 homers for the fifth consecutive season.
Before Cruz's blast gave the Rangers two insurance runs en route to their sixth win in seven games, Adrian Beltre and A.J. Pierzynski hit two-run doubles in the third off Yankee starter Andy Pettitte (5-6).
The home run gave the Rangers some breathing room after Robbie Ross worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth. He gave up RBI singles to Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner that made it a one-run game but struck out Lyle Overbay on a slider and retired Jayson Nix on a double play.
In the seventh, Ichiro Suzuki hit a Ross pitch into the second deck in right field for a two-run homer. Later in the inning, Neal Cotts relieved and got Hafner looking at a cutter for a called strike three with Cano on first base.
Tanner Scheppers pitched a perfect eighth and Joe Nathan did the same in the ninth for his 26th save. Nathan was staked to a three-run lead after Lance Berkman's RBI single and Mitch Moreland's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
Rookie Justin Grimm (7-5) won his second straight start, allowing three runs and six hits in five-plus innings.
Pettitte dropped his third straight start, allowing four runs (three earned) and six hits.
The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the second on Overbay's ninth home run, but Pettitte gave it back in the third and almost had to leave the game.
He avoided injury on a minor collision with third baseman Jayson Nix while trying to field an infield hit by Leonys Martin. Texas subsequently loaded the bases with nobody out after Ian Kinsler walked and Nix made a throwing error on a sacrifice attempt by Elvis Andrus.
Pettitte struck out Nelson Cruz for the first out but gave up a two-run double by Adrian Beltre to left field,.
On the next pitch, Pierzynski hit a line-drive double into right field, driving in two more runs to give Texas a 4-1 lead.
NOTES: Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira will have season-ending wrist surgery sometime soon, though the date has not been officially announced. The findings of a recent MRI indicated that the torn sheath in his right wrist had not completely healed, and team medical staff recommended surgery. ... Yankees GM Brian Cashman held a lengthy press conference to express regret of using profanity in an interview with ESPN New York on Tuesday after finding out about a tweet in which 3B Alex Rodriguez said he had been cleared to play games. Among the key points were that the team wants to control the message with rehab updates and manage from the top down and not vice versa. In a statement, the Yankees said that Rodriguez, Cashman and team president Randy Levine spoke on the phone about Tuesday's events and called it a "constructive, healthy conversation." ... Martin went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games. ... Rookie INF Jurickson Profar spent some time in the outfield before the game, but the Rangers are not prepared to start him there just yet.