The Yankees' inconsistent A.J. Burnett took the loss, giving up five runs over six innings. Middle relievers Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain fared better, giving up a run each. Sergio Mitre surrendered three more runs to the Rangers in the ninth inning.
Rangers starter Tommy Hunter struggled through 3 1/3 innings and was replaced by Derek Holland, who picked up the win.
The Yankees have struggled at the plate throughout this series. Only Robinson Cano and Lance Berkman have decent numbers in the offensive categories.
Bengie Molina hit a three-run homer off A.J. Burnett in the sixth inning, and the Texas Rangers overcame a controversial homer by Robinson Cano to take a 5-3 lead over the New York Yankees after six innings of Game 4 of the American League championship series on Tuesday night.
Burnett, making his first start since Oct. 2, intentionally walked David Murphy to pitch to the Rangers' catcher. Molina hit the first pitch down the left-field line and there was no doubt it was fair. The Yankees right-hander put his hands on his head as Molina rounded the bases.
Cano's homer was one of two disputed drives in the second inning. Lance Berkman's fly ball down the right-field line was overturned by video replay.
The Yankees also lost Gold Glove first baseman Mark Teixeira to a hamstring injury in the fifth inning.
With one out, Cano hit a high fly off Tommy Hunter and Nelson Cruz went back to the wall and leaped. He reached above the barrier and the ball bounced off the top of the wall and into the crowd.
The play was reminiscent of Derek Jeter's homer against Baltimore in the 1996 ALCS that was caught by teenage fan Jeffrey Maier, who reached over the wall. Back then there was no review available to umpires. On Tuesday, the umpires didn't go to the video room despite protests from Cruz and Rangers manager Ron Washington, and right field umpire Jim Reynolds' call stood.
After Nick Swisher struck out, Berkman hit a drive down the right-field line that was originally ruled a home run by Reynolds. This time the umpires went to the replay booth and overturned the call. Replays showed they got the call right: the high drive was just to the foul side of the pole, and kept the score 1-0.
The Yankees had been outscored 10-0 in the first three innings of the first three games of the best-of-seven series, which Texas led 2-1 heading into Game 4.
Teixeira was injured running to first on a grounder to third base in the fifth. He grabbed his hamstring and winced in pain as he hobbled to the bag. The Gold Glove first baseman, 0 for 14 in the series, was helped off the field and Marcus Thames pinch ran.
The Yankees went ahead in the fourth, loading the bases against Hunter on Berkman's one-out single. Derek Holland relieved and Brett Garnder hit a grounder that shortstop Elvis Andrus dived to stop. He threw to third for the forceout, allowing Rodriguez, who was hit by a pitch, to score for a 3-2 lead. Catcher Francisco Cervelli, starting ahead of Jorge Posada because Burnett was pitching, struck out looking to end the threat.
Hunter gave up three runs and five hits in 3 1-3 innings. He struck out five. Holland allowed just one hit in 2 2-3 innings.
An amped up Burnett breezed through the first two innings. He threw eight of nine first pitches for strikes and struck out three. Backed by a boisterous crowd, the tempremental right-hander reached 96 mph in the first.
But in the third he walked leadoff batter Murphy, who advanced on a wild pitch, and hit Molina with a pitch. Mitch Moreland sacrificed the runners over. Andrus grounded to first base, scoring the first run. Michael Young then hit a soft groundball that third baseman Rodriguez fielded but had no play, allowing Molina to score for a 2-1 lead.
Maddeningly inconsistent, Burnett finished 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA in the second season of an $82.5 million, five-year contract. He lost seven of his last eight regular-season decisions from Aug. 1 on, struggling so badly that he was left out of the first-round rotation against Minnesota and was banished to the bullpen.
On Tuesday, he allowed the leadoff batter to reach in four of the first six innings, but kept cool.
In the fifth he got Josh Hamilton to hit a lazy fly to center with runners on first and second after the Rangers slugger hit a foul ball that left fielder Brett Gardner had a bead on but couldn't catch when a fan touched the fly and gave him another swing.
He got burned in the sixth, and left having given up five runs and six hits. He walked three - one intentionally - and hit a batter.
In the third, Derek Jeter tripled off the center field wall with two outs and scored on Granderson's hard shot that second baseman Ian Kinsler could only knock down. It was Jeter's 32nd postseason run, which moved him ahead of former teammate Bernie Williams for most all-time. Williams threw out the ceremonial first pitch.