NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Teixeira was inspired to be a switch-hitter watching Eddie Murray with the Baltimore Orioles.
Now, he’s connected to the Hall of Famer in the record book.
Teixeira hit two-run drives from each side of the plate in the New York Yankees’ 12-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night, the 11th time he’s homered as a lefty and righty in the same game. That matched Murray and Chili Davis for most in history.
“My dad used to say, ‘Is Eddie going to hit one from the right side or the left side?”‘ said Teixeira, who grew up in Maryland.
Teixeira wasn’t the only one to homer for the Yankees in another romp over the Rangers, their fifth win in six games since being swept by Boston in the first three games of the 10-game homestand.
Robinson Cano and youngsters Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena homered, too, as New York handed Texas its season-high fourth straight loss. The Yankees routed the AL champion Rangers by the same score Tuesday.
Nunez’s homer in the fourth came on his 24th birthday.
“It’s everyone’s birthday on the left side of the infield today,” Teixeira said he told Pena after he homered in the sixth.
In the second game without the injured Derek Jeter, manager Joe Girardi got creative with his lineup. Batting leadoff for the first time since 2008, Nick Swisher reached base three times. Andruw Jones, starting in left field for Brett Gardner with left-hander Derek Holland on the mound, hit the tiebreaking RBI single in the fifth.
“Just great at-bats,” Girardi said about the Yankees’ recent hitting success.
Francisco Cervelli added a run-scoring hit and made a gymnastic play at the plate filling in for catcher Russell Martin, out again with a stiff back.
For the second straight night, the Yankees humbled a Rangers starter on a roll. They knocked around Alexi Ogando on Tuesday for six early runs in handing him his first loss off the season. This time, New York forced Holland to throw 103 pitches in giving up six runs in five innings. Holland (5-2) last lost April 16 at Yankee Stadium, 11 starts ago.
Rangers pitchers have given up 70 runs in the last nine games, a 2-7 slide.
“We need a well-pitched game, that’s what we need, whether it comes from a starter or the bullpen,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “We need somebody to go out there and pitch a good game so the offense has a chance to breathe a little bit.”
Teixeira homered from the right side in the first after Ivan Nova (6-4) gave up two quick runs to Texas. He connected on a deep drive to right from the left side off Mark Lowe in the sixth for his 21st home run of the season.
Michael Young and Josh Hamilton had RBIs in the first to give the Rangers the early lead. Ian Kinsler homered leading off the third and Adrian Beltre had a sacrifice fly later in the inning to make it 4-3.
The Yankees took the lead for good in the fifth. Alex Rodriguez slid across home plate just ahead of catcher Yorvit Torrealba’s sweep tag on Jones’ hit to give the Yankees a 5-4 lead. Rodriguez tied Ted Williams for 16th all-time with 1,799 runs scored.
“I’m not happy at all,” Holland said. “My team is out there scoring runs for me and I did a horrible job of keeping the damage down.”
Cervelli then hit an RBI single but Nunez, who walked, was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Curtis Granderson teamed up with Cervelli to protect the lead in the sixth. Granderson fielded Elvis Andrus’ single to medium center field and came up throwing. The strong throw was slightly off line but Cervelli forced Torrealba to the outside by blocking the plate with his left leg and he quickly dived backward to apply the tag for the third out.
“If you think somebody’s going to hit you hard is when a lot bad things happen,” Cervelli said. “In my mind just make the play no matter what happened.”
Cano hit a soaring homer in the eighth off Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, pitching for the first time in a week.
Nova gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
NOTES: The Yankees signed career minor leaguer Brian Gordon and he will start Thursday for Yankees. Gordon, a converted outfielder, was 5-0 for Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the Phillies system. The 32-year-old right-hander walked only seven and struck out 56 in 55 1-3 innings this season. His only big league experience was three relief outings with Texas in 2008. … The Yankees transferred setup man Rafael Soriano to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Cory Wade, who pitched a perfect inning of relief. … Rangers RHP Brandon Webb (right shoulder surgery) threw 45 pitches of one-hit ball over three innings for Double-A Frisco on Sunday. Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux said Webb was throwing 83-85 mph. He needs to be at about 85-87 he said. The 2006 Cy Young Award winner hasn’t pitched in the majors since April 6, 2009. He’s expected to make his next rehab start Sunday for Frisco.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)