Texas Rangers

Rangers open key series with major comeback, rout of Yankees

Mazara: Rangers' offense keeps rolling in key win

Nomar Mazara's second-inning solo homer got the Texas Rangers going Friday en route to an 11-5 victory over the New York Yankees (video by Jeff Wilson).
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Nomar Mazara's second-inning solo homer got the Texas Rangers going Friday en route to an 11-5 victory over the New York Yankees (video by Jeff Wilson).

For every team remaining in the American League wild-card hunt, and there is no shortage of them, every series in what’s left of the 2017 season is a big one.

Even if the Texas Rangers were spending their weekend playing the Chicago White Sox or Detroit Tigers, two of only the four teams not in the playoff picture, it would be an important series.

But the Rangers are playing the New York Yankees, who sit atop the wild-card standings and are four games ahead of the Rangers. The Rangers entered Friday only 2  1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the second wild card.

The Yankees have what the Rangers want, a clear path to the postseason and some cushion just in case. A successful series for the Rangers would make them that much more of a contender.

They are under no false illusions. They’ve stopped talking about having plenty of time left to make a move. They know that, at minimum, they have to win every series.

This is an especially big series for them, and they got off on the right foot Friday night by overcoming two four-run deficits to rally to an 11-5 victory.

“If we win every series from now until the end, we’re going to be in good shape,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “We always want those challenges and that competition, and we’ll see what we’ve got.”

Andrus had plenty, as he drove in three runs on a 3-for-4 night. Included was a two-run single in the Rangers’ four-run fifth that broke a 5-all tie. Nomar Mazara jump-started the Rangers’ comeback with a 453-foot homer off Masahiro Tanaka to open the second.

Robinson Chirinos singled and scored in the third, and his double in the fifth made it 5-4. He then scored on a wild pitch to knot the score.

The Rangers added four more runs in the seventh to put the game away. The big blow was a two-run, two-out triple by Rougned Odor, who helped contribute to the Rangers falling into a 4-0 hole.

Left-hander Martin Perez allowed five runs Friday in 5 2/3 innings against the New York Yankees, but only two were earned as he won his seventh consecutive start (video by Jeff Wilson).

Martin Perez recovered from the second inning, in which three of the Yankees’ runs were unearned because of a sloppy throw by Odor, to allow only one run over his final 3  2/3 innings.

His biggest inning was the fourth, when the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs before Starlin Castro popped to second to end the threat. Perez wasn’t allowed to face Aaron Judge as the tying run in the sixth as Ricky Rodriguez entered and struck out the Rookie of the Year shoo-in.

Perez won his career-best seventh straight start.

The Rangers have seven series remaining this season, including the final two games against the Yankees. The Seattle Mariners, who are still in the wild-card mix, come to Globe Life Park on Monday for four games, before the Rangers head to Anaheim for three games against the Los Angeles Angels.

They are another team the Rangers are chasing.

Cole Hamels will pitch in the next two series as the Rangers try to maximize his starts the rest of the way by pitching him every fifth day. He’s their big-game pitcher, despite his recent struggles, and understands as well as anyone what is at stake.

“It’s going to be a fight until the very end,” he said.

And the Rangers know what they have to do, beginning this weekend.

“We have to continue to play good baseball,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “This is a Yankees team that is out in front in the wild card. They’ve been playing well. They’re a team we’re going to have play well against. They’re out in front of us. It’s an opportunity to win some games and gain some ground.”

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister watched Martin Perez survive Friday and the offense get rolling in an 11-5 win over the New York Yankees.

AL wild-card standings

Team

Games back

x-NY Yankees

+1.5

x-Minnesota

LA Angels

1.5

Texas

2.5

Baltimore

3

Tampa Bay

4.5

Kansas City

4.5

Seattle

4.5

Note: Top two teams, marked with x, would make the playoffs if season ended today.

New York

041

000

000

5

8

0

Texas

012

040

40x

11

15

2

New York AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Gardner lf

4

0

0

0

0

2

.256

Judge rf

5

0

1

0

0

3

.276

Sanchez c

3

0

2

2

1

0

.276

Castro 2b

4

0

0

0

0

1

.310

Holliday dh

4

1

1

0

0

0

.230

Gregorius ss

4

2

1

1

0

0

.291

Torreyes ss

0

0

0

0

0

0

.295

Headley 1b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.279

Ellsbury cf

4

1

1

1

0

3

.258

Frazier 3b

3

0

1

1

0

1

.211

Totals 35

5

8

5

1

10

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields lf

5

2

2

1

0

1

.282

Choo dh

5

2

2

0

0

1

.264

Andrus ss

4

1

3

3

1

0

.307

Mazara rf

4

1

2

1

0

1

.261

Hoying pr-rf

1

1

0

0

0

0

.203

Gomez cf

4

0

1

1

0

1

.251

Gallo 3b

4

1

1

1

0

3

.211

Napoli 1b

4

0

0

0

0

3

.194

Odor 2b

4

1

2

2

0

1

.215

Chirinos c

2

2

2

1

2

0

.266

Totals 37

11

15

10

3

11

E—Gallo (15), Odor (17). LOB—New York 6, Texas 6. 2B—Judge (19), DeShields (15), Choo (17), Andrus 2 (40), Chirinos (12). 3B—Odor (3). HR—Gregorius (21), off Perez; Mazara (19), off Tanaka. RBIs—Sanchez 2 (81), Gregorius (68), Ellsbury (38), Frazier (64), DeShields (18), Andrus 3 (83), Mazara (91), Gomez (49), Gallo (73), Odor 2 (66), Chirinos (36). SF—Gomez. Runners left in scoring position—New York 2 (Castro 2); Texas 3 (DeShields, Mazara, Gomez). RISP—New York 3 for 6; Texas 7 for 13. Runners moved up—Choo, Hoying. GIDP—Holliday, Mazara. DP—New York 1 (Headley, Gregorius); Texas 1 (Andrus, Odor, Napoli).

New York

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Tanaka, L 11-11

4

8

7

7

0

7

81

4.82

Kahnle

 2/3

2

0

0

0

0

10

2.73

Shreve

1 1/3

0

0

0

1

2

23

3.38

Smith

0

2

3

3

1

0

12

7.64

Heller

 2/3

2

1

1

1

1

17

2.25

Mitchell

1 1/3

1

0

0

0

1

16

4.45

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Perez, W 12-10

5 2/3

8

5

2

1

4

103

4.81

Rodriguez, H 1

1 1/3

0

0

0

0

2

21

7.00

Diekman

1

0

0

0

0

1

13

0.00

Barnette

1

0

0

0

0

3

18

4.82

Tanaka pitched to 4 batters in the 5th. Smith pitched to 3 batters in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored—Kahnle 2-2, Shreve 1-0, Heller 3-3, Mitchell 2-0, Rodriguez 1-0. HBP—Perez 2 (Frazier,Gardner). WP—Tanaka 2, Smith, Heller. T—3:23. A—35,883 (48,114).

Rangers vs. Yankees

Noon Saturday, KDFW/4

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