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Yanks Drop Rare One In Texas


The Texas Rangers slowed the New York Yankees' chase of history and kept their own chase going in the AL West.

Rusty Greer homered and knocked in four runs as the Rangers used a pair of big innings to outslug New York 12-10 Sunday night.

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  • The Yankees gave up six runs in the first inning and five runs in the sixth, but twice battled back to within a run.

    "I just loved the way we would come back," Yankees manager Joe Torre said."It's not good for my stomach, but it is good for baseball. This is a fighting ball club."

    The Yankees (94-33) are trying to become the first team to win 100 games before September. With 35 games left, the Yankees are also on track to break the all-time record of 116 victories by the 1906 Chicago Cubs.

    The Yankees missed a chance to go a season-high 63 games over .500. The last time a Yankees team equaled or surpassed that mark was in 1927, when New York finished the year 66 games over at 110-44.

    The victory, the Rangers' first against the Yankees at home this season, kept them 2 games behind Anaheim in the West.

    It also ended a brutal 18-day stretch for Texas that included 17 games against pennant contenders New York, Boston and Cleveland. The Rangers were 7-10 during the string, including 2-5 against the Yankees.

    "The season doesn't stop after this 17-game stretch," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said. "It's just now starting."

    Added Greer:

    The Rangers scored early against Yankees starter Orlando Hernandez (8-4), who shut them out on two hits through 8 1/3 innings last week in New York. Texas sent 10 men to the plate in the first, scoring six runs on five hits and a pair of walks. Greer had an RBI single.

    "I think his command was not as strong as in Yankee Stadium," Oates said. "It was a lack of command."

    Hernandez settled down after that and allowed only one more run on three singles through the fifth as New York pulled within 7-6 and appeared on the verge of their 44th comeback victory.

    But Texas put that to rest with another big inning. The Rangers batted around again in the sixth, adding five runs off relievers Mike Stanton and Ryan Bradley.

    Stanton started the inning with a four-pitch walk to Royce Clayton and then gave up a single to Tom Goodwin before he was pulled for rookie Ryan Bradley. Luis Alicea then added an RBI single and Greer hit a 423-foot, three-run homer. Todd Zeile's sacrifice fly made it 12-6.

    "I feel this is my loss," Stanton said. "I gave up two runs and we lost by two runs."

    Again, the Yankees were poised for a comeback, adding three runs in the seventh, including Paul O'Neill's two-run single, and appeared headed for more until reliever Eric Gunderson got Bernie Williams to ground into an inning-ending double play. The Yankees' cleanup hitter was 0-5 with three strikeouts.

    Jorge Posada hit his second solo homer of the game in the eighth off Gunderson to make it 12-10 Texas. The shot made him the sixth player in Yankees history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in a game.

    In the ninth, the Yankees again sent the tying run to the plate. But Williams again grounded into a double play, this time against John Wetteland, to end the game. Wetteland picked up his 34th save.

    After Texas' big first inning, Posada hit a 421-foot solo homer to the upper deck in right for the Yankees.

    Then O'Neill smashed a double off the right-field wall in the third, scoring Scott Brosius and Derek Jeter. Alicea overthrew home plate with the relay, and O'Neill scored on what was ruled a two-base error to make it 6-4.

    In the fifth, Brosius hit the first pitch from Rick Helling (16-7) into the left-field seats to pull New York within 6-5.

    Texas got a run back in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Ivan Rodriguez. But the Rangers' lead dwindled to 7-6 on Tino Martinez's 397-foot homer to right-center in the sixth.

    Notes

  • Tim Raines , suffering from a stiff neck, missed his third consecutive start. Chad Curtis took his place in left field.
  • Gonzalez retook the major-league lead in RBI with his 127th on a first-inning single. He passed the Cubs' Sammy Sosa , who got to 126 on Sunday with a pair of RBI.
  • Texas averted the first sweep to New York at home since July 1983.
  • The Yankees finished their season series against Teas 8-3.

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