NEW YORK Yovani Gallardo credited his curveball for his turnaround after a rough first inning Sunday, and manager Jeff Banister thought the cutter was Gallardo’s best pitch.
Judging by the performance of New York Yankees hitters, both must have been pretty good.
Gallardo allowed two runs in six innings, retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, and Prince Fielder had three more hits and two more RBIs as the Texas Rangers won their fifth straight game 5-2.
Adam Rosales had a two-run homer as the Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Yankees, who have lost nine of their past 10 games. His second homer of the series, in the second inning, erased a 2-1 hole and the Rangers never looked back.
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It was the Rangers’ first road sweep of the Yankees since 2003. The Rangers improved to 5-1 on their current nine-game road trip, which continues Monday at Cleveland with the 2015 debut of Josh Hamilton.
“This road trip itself is a big road trip,” Gallardo said. “We’ve played some tough teams, and to be able to come out and play the way we’ve been playing shows the talent we have in this clubhouse and the hard work the guys have put into it.”
Fielder drove in his first run in the first with a double that scored Shin-Soo Choo from first, but the Yankees collected three hits and a walk in their first at-bat to take a 2-1 lead.
A strong throw from Leonys Martin in center field caught Brett Gardner at third base for the first out of the inning, and helped keep the damage to a minimum.
Rosales homered with two outs in the second, and Gallardo took over.
The Fort Worth resident allowed only two more base runners — Didi Gregorius on an error to start the second and Garrett Jones on a single to start the fourth. Gallardo (4-6) struck out six, which he said was a result of using his curveball more in all counts to keep hitters off balance.
“That first inning, I think I was just leaving the ball up in the zone,” Gallardo said. “I was able to use my curveball well. When I did leave a fastball over the plate, the hitters’ timing was a little off to get some groundballs.”
The Rangers padded their lead in the seventh as Delino DeShields opened with a triple and scored on a Choo double. Fielder followed with a line drive that just missed being a home run, but the resulting single scored Choo to make it 5-2.
Fielder finished the series 8-for-14 with three homers and nine RBIs, a record for a visiting player at the new Yankee Stadium, and the Rangers scored 30 runs in three games.
DeShields, Choo and Rosales had two hits apiece.
“To spread the offense around tonight was nice,” Banister said.
Sam Freeman got a big out in the eight, retiring Brian McCann was the tying run, and Shawn Tolleson struck out the side in a dominant ninth inning for his third career save and third of the road trip.
“He made a really nice statement,” Banister said.
So did the Rangers.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760