Rangers hold off Yankees

New York can’t quite finish rally in wild 9th

Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena hits his second two-run homer of the game in the third inning off Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil in Toronto. Tampa Bay’s Carlos Pena hits his second two-run homer of the game in the third inning off Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil in Toronto. (Mike Cassese/Reuters)
Associated Press / August 26, 2009

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Thanks to quick reactions by their rookie shortstop, the Texas Rangers escaped with a victory after a nerve-racking ninth inning at Yankee Stadium.

Elvis Andrus turned Melky Cabrera’s line drive into a game-ending double play, and Texas held off the New York Yankees, 10-9, last night in a potential playoff preview.

“It’s a win. I don’t think it’s any bigger than any other one,’’ said Rangers third baseman Michael Young. “Obviously, you come to New York, the game’s never over. Especially in this ballpark, against this lineup, with that crowd getting that fired up.’’

Young and Nelson Cruz homered for the Rangers, who scored seven two-out runs off Joba Chamberlain to overcome an early four-run deficit. They took a 10-5 lead into the ninth before New York started storming back against Texas’s bullpen.

Jason Grilli allowed a leadoff single and a walk before he was relieved by closer Frank Francisco. Alex Rodriguez walked, Hideki Matsui lined an RBI single, and Jorge Posada knocked in a run with a rare infield single.

Robinson Cano’s two-run single cut it to 10-9 and left runners at first and second with nobody out. But Nick Swisher popped up a foul bunt attempt for the first out and Cabrera hit a low liner to shortstop that Andrus caught on the fly.

Pinch-runner Jerry Hairston Jr. tried to scramble back to second, but Andrus beat him by a half-step for the final out.

“My first idea was to let the ball hit the ground,’’ Andrus said. “Right there you just want two outs any way you can.’’

Rays 7, Blue Jays 3 - Carlos Pena hit a pair of two-run homers, giving him 200 for his career, and James Shields pitched 6 2/3 innings for the win as visiting Tampa Bay beat Toronto.

Twins 7, Orioles 6 - Delmon Young’s fourth hit of the night scored Michael Cuddyer in the ninth inning to lift Minnesota over Baltimore in Minneapolis.

Rockies 5, Dodgers 4 - Troy Tulowitzki lined a fastball into center field off James McDonald with one out and the bases loaded in the 10th to give host Colorado a win over Los Angeles.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4 - Travis Ishikawa hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning after scoring the tying run in the seventh on a wild pitch and host San Francisco held off a rally to beat Arizona.

Mariners 4, Athletics 2 - Defensive-replacement Ryan Langerhans homered off Craig Breslow with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to send host Seattle over Oakland.

Reds 8, Brewers 6 - Joey Votto and Laynce Nix hit solo home runs in the top of the 13th inning to give Cincinnati the victory in Milwaukee, despite blowing a five-run lead in the ninth.

Padres 2, Braves 1 - David Eckstein’s 12th-inning double drove in Nick Hundley and San Diego recovered after blowing a ninth-inning lead to win in Atlanta.

Royals 6, Indians 2 - Zack Greinke (12-8) struck out a team-record 15 in eight overpowering innings and got some rare offensive support, helping host Kansas City end a five-game losing streak.

Pirates 6, Phillies 4 - Andrew McCutchen made up for a defensive gaffe earlier in the ninth inning by hitting a game-ending, two-run homer off closer Brad Lidge and host Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia.

Cardinals 1, Astros 0 - Adam Wainwright worked eight innings of three-hit ball to become the National League’s first 15-game winner and Albert Pujols’s hit off Wandy Rodriguez drove in the lone run in St. Louis’s victory over visiting Houston.

Nationals 15, Cubs 6 - Elijah Dukes hit a grand slam in a six-run fifth inning, Josh Willingham had two homers and six RBIs, and visiting Washington rocked Carlos Zambrano in his return from the disabled list, routing Chicago.

Marlins 2, Mets 1 - Sean West pitched six impressive innings in Miami, lifting Florida over an injury-battered New York team shaken by the loss of ace Johan Santana for the season.

Tigers 5, Angels 3 - Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco hit back-to-back triples in the seventh inning, with Polanco driving in the go-ahead run in visiting Detroit’s victory over Los Angeles.

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