ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi figures he will never see another game like this one, especially after trailing 5-0 in the first inning.
The Yankees charged back in a hurry, with an 11-run second inning and 8 1-3 hitless innings of relief to overcome the Texas Rangers 21-5 on Tuesday night.
“Strange,” Girardi said. “I don’t know if I’ve been a part of that where you give up five in the first and you don’t give up another hit the rest of the game, and you score 21 runs. I don’t know if I’ll ever see that again.”
The AL East-leading Yankees scored the most runs in the majors this season, winning for the eighth time in nine games. They are a majors-best 16-5 in July — matching their most wins in a month since August 2013.
“They’re feeling confident, and they feel good at the plate, and it’s a great approach,” Girardi said.
Brendan Ryan doubled twice with three RBIs and Didi Gregorius had a bases-loaded triple in the 11-run second. A day after his 40th birthday, Alex Rodriguez had an RBI double off the top of the 14-foot wall in left field that made it 6-5 and chased starter Martin Perez (0-2).
Chris Young started the big inning with a double and scored the first of his two runs in the frame when Chase Headley had the first of his two RBI singles in the inning. Young added his fourth career grand slam in the third.
“It was fun. Not just mine, but everybody, to be able to come back in the second inning … being able to come together and put up quality at-bats,” Young said. “It was amazing.”
Along with all the offense, the Yankees got a huge boost from right-hander Diego Moreno (1-0), who after being recalled earlier Tuesday took over for spot starter Chris Capuano with two outs in the first.
Moreno retired 16 of the 17 batters he faced in 5 1-3 innings to get his first major league victory. The 28-year-old rookie right-hander struck out five and walked one.
“I was relaxed and just trying to concentrate on throwing strikes,” Moreno said through an interpreter.
Perez allowed eight runs in his third start since Tommy John surgery last year, and Wandy Rodriguez gave up seven runs in his one inning.
The only other team to have two pitchers in the same game who allowed at least seven runs in an inning or less was Toronto in a 23-1 loss to Baltimore on Sept. 28, 2000.
“It’s not the way we want to play the game of baseball. We struggled the whole night,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We gave up 15 freebies — two catcher’s interference, one error and the rest hit batters and walks.”
Texas still had a 5-1 lead in the second when Ryan batted with the bases loaded and no outs. Second baseman Rougned Odor broke the wrong way on a grounder that went through the hole behind him and into the right-center field gap for a two-run double.
“It’s a ground-ball double play, but I don’t see the ball and everything started from there. It’s my fault,” Odor said. “I just read the bat and reacted.”
New York scored its most runs since a 22-9 win against Oakland on Aug. 25, 2011, and surpassed Baltimore’s 19-3 win over Philadelphia on June 16.
It was the most runs given up by the Rangers since their 21-8 loss to Seattle on May 30, 2012.
Young finished with three hits and five RBIs, adding a run-scoring double in the sixth. Gregorius had a career-high four hits, a night after three hits and a career-best four RBIs in the series-opening 6-2 victory.
Brett Gardner scored five runs, including a two-run homer in the ninth off Adam Rosales, the Rangers utility infielder pitching for the second time this season.
The Rangers, who have lost 12 of their last 13 home games, didn’t have a hit after their five-run first, when they had three hits and benefited from five walks by Capuano. Adam Warren pitched three innings for his first save.
“I’ve seen a snowman (8) but I’ve never seen 11 (runs). Everybody was swinging the bats well, but it’s still big-league pitching,” Ryan said. “When you’re down five, if you can scratch one across that’s good, but more is even better. It speaks to the character of this team to come back and answer that quickly.”
BIG INNINGS, GOOD AND BAD
New York sent 15 batters to the plate in the second, its highest-scoring inning since a 12-run first in a 17-3 win against Baltimore on July 30, 2011. The franchise record is 14 runs in the fifth inning of a 17-0 win against Washington on July 6, 1920. … Texas had last allowed 11 runs in an inning April 23, 2008, against Detroit. The Tigers’ 13 runs in an inning on Aug. 8, 2001, are the most allowed by the Rangers. Both of those were 19-6 wins for Detroit.
Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova pitched only five innings in the series opener Monday because of arm fatigue, in only his sixth start since Tommy John surgery in April 2014. Girardi says he’s less concerned after Nova reported feeling normal when he woke up Tuesday, and that Nova is still on track to make his next scheduled start Sunday.
Yankees: Mashairo Tanaka (7-3, 3.64) tries to win his fourth consecutive start. The Japanese right-hander is the first Yankees pitcher since April 2013 to win at least three consecutive starts when pitching at least seven innings.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (10-4), only the fifth Texas pitcher with at least five 10-win seasons, goes for his seventh win since June 5.
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