August 14, 2012

Homers, Kuroda beat Rangers

Texas manages only hits while New York belts two homers off Alexi Ogando in the seventh.

NEW YORK -- Matt Harrison's hat and face were drenched and dripping with sweat as he labored through the second and third innings on a humid night at Yankee Stadium.

He got through those innings, though, and had matched zeroes through the first six innings with Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. But those stressful early innings were one of the reasons Harrison's night ended when he gave up a one-out single to Derek Jeter in the seventh.

With switch-hitters Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira coming up, Rangers manager Ron Washington felt Alexi Ogando's velocity would bode well even though they'd be batting from the left side.

The move didn't pay off.

Swisher won an eight-pitch at-bat with a two-run home run to right-center field and Teixeira followed with a solo shot, the difference in the Yankees' 3-0 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday.

"I leave Harry there and he doesn't get Swisher, then I bring Ogando into a deeper situation," Washington said. "I wanted to put velocity on Swisher and [Ogando] didn't beat him with it."

That was all the Yankees needed on a night when Kuroda dominated.

He had a no-hitter through six innings before Elvis Andrus broke it up with an infield single to start the seventh. Kuroda finished off his second complete-game shutout of the season with a two-hitter, and the Rangers were held scoreless for the third time this season.

Josh Hamilton, who went 0 for 3 with a strikeout, had a simple explanation for what Kuroda did effectively.

"He was throwing the ball just off enough where it looked like it was going to be a strike and we just expanded the zone," Hamilton said. "He's got 94-95 mph in his back pocket when he wants it and that makes it a little tough. He did a good job mixing it up tonight."

Michael Young produced Texas' second hit with a leadoff single in the eighth, but David Murphy bounced into a double play in the next at-bat.

The Rangers had only four base runners in the game. Andrus drew a one-out walk in the first, and Mitch Moreland had a two-out walk in the third.

Kuroda faced two batters over the minimum, getting 15 groundouts, including two double plays, five strikeouts and four flyouts.

"There's been plenty of times this year offensively where we didn't get much done and I was disappointed because I thought we could've had a better showing," Murphy said. "But tonight is one of those nights that I'm not overly disappointed. I feel like this offense can get something going against anybody who is out there, but he did a great job tonight and he earned every bit of that."

Harrison did a great job, too, but still took the loss.

In the second, Harrison worked out of a jam after giving up a two-out single to Casey McGehee and a walk to Russell Martin. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the third by getting Curtis Granderson to fly out to center.

McGehee led off the fourth with a single, but Harrison went on to retire 10 of the next 11 batters before Jeter singled in the seventh. Harrison wanted to stay in the game, of course, but didn't have a say in the matter.

"It's tough to come out of games because you want to be out there as long as possible," Harrison said. "Tie game and I wanted to finish that inning. They made a decision and that's what they wanted to do."

Ogando threw Swisher six fastballs in a row and then a 2-2 slider for a ball. His eighth pitch was a high fastball that Swisher connected on. Teixeira then roped a 2-1 fastball into the right-field seats.

"If I had to do it again, I'd bring Ogando in any one of those situations," Washington said. "Today he ended up giving up two hits and they both happened to be home runs."

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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