ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Martin Perez won his seventh straight start after the playoff-hopeful Texas Rangers rallied from an early four-run deficit and beat the AL wild card-leading New York Yankees 11-5 on Friday night.
Elvis Andrus had three hits, including the tiebreaking two-run single in the fifth that put the Rangers up 7-5.
Perez (12-10) became the first Rangers pitcher to win seven straight starts since Kenny Rogers set the club record in 2005 with eight in a row. The left-hander allowed five runs, only two earned, while giving up eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Nomar Mazara homered for Texas (71-69), which stayed within 2 1/2 games of Minnesota for the AL’s second wild card. The Twins won at Kansas City to move within 1 1/2 games of New York (75-65).
Andrus, hitting .400 (28 of 70) over his last 16 games, had the go-ahead hit as the first batter after Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka (11-11) threw his last pitch with two on and no outs in the fifth. Andrus also had two doubles, giving him 40 for the season.
Tanaka had won his last three starts, and struck out seven Rangers. But the right-hander allowed seven runs and eight hits, and had a wild pitch that allowed Robinson Chirinos to score the tying run.
Chirinos was 2 for 2 with two walks, and has reached base in 23 consecutive games.
The Yankees led 4-0 after Gary Sanchez had a two-run single in the second. That capped a four-run outburst in in the inning when only one of the runs was earned after an error by second baseman Rougned Odor. Todd Frazier got an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
After Mazara’s 19th homer in the Rangers second, Didi Gregorius put the Yankees up 5-1 with a solo homer in the third. That was the 21st homer this season for Gregorius, and his seventh in 79 career at-bats against Texas.
BACK TO NEW YORK
After the weekend in Texas, the Yankees will return to New York. Hurricane Irma forced their series at the Tampa Bay Rays to be moved from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The Rangers last week played their road series against the Houston Astros in St. Pete in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Yankees: CC Sabathia said the lubricating injection in his right knee was routine and scheduled. The lefty left his start Tuesday at Baltimore after 5 1/3 innings with the lead. He plans to throw Saturday and is on track to start the series opener Monday against the Rays.
Rangers: Mazara was back in the lineup after leaving the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Atlanta with tightness in his left quad.
From night to a noon start local time for the second game of the series, with Game 2 scheduled to start only about 13 1/2 hours after the end of the opener. Yankees RHP Luis Severino (12-6), who has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of 10 starts since the All-Star break, going 7-2 in that span. RHP Andrew Cashner (9-9) goes for the Rangers. He is 6-2 in his last 10 starts.
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