After watching the Yankees limit the first-place Rangers’ high-powered offense to two runs during regulation, Adolis Garcia decided enough was enough.
With an automatic runner on second, the right fielder started the 10th inning by cranking Michael King’s first pitch of the night over the left field wall at Yankee Stadium. The blast proved decisive, as the Rangers beat the Yankees, 4-2.
“I just can’t throw it over the middle,” said King, who added that he’s been adjusting to some mechanical tweaks with his setup. “Good hitter, and I make a mistake, he’s gonna hit it. I just didn’t execute the pitch.”
Long before Garcia went deep, the Rangers — and the Yankees — made Clarke Schmidt work on the mound. But the young right-hander battled through trouble after getting knocked around in Texas earlier this season.
Schmidt escaped multiple jams while allowing one run (zero earned) over 5.1 innings, a noticeable improvement after the Rangers tagged him for 10 hits and five runs on April 28. Schmidt also totaled six hits, one walk and three strikeouts over 91 pitches on Friday.
“They’re really deep,” Schmidt said. “They got potential All-Stars up and down the lineup. Even their eight, nine-hole guys are in contention for an All-Star team. Obviously, it was a really good test, and we had a good game plan tonight and executed some pitches.”
Schmidt now has a 2.19 ERA over his last seven starts, a fact that wasn’t lost on his manager.
“He’s just growing up and getting better and getting more experience and getting more savvy,” Aaron Boone said. “And a better grasp and understanding of his pitch package and how he wants to attack.”
While Schmidt pitched well, a clean game evaded the Yankees once again, as they made a handful of mistakes against Texas while their offense continued to stumble. The gaffes began in the first inning when a strikeout pitch zipped past former Ranger Jose Trevino.
While that proved inconsequential, the same could not be said for a Leody Taveras pop fly to shallow center field in the fourth. With Harrison Bader off, Isiah Kiner-Falefa ran a mile for the ball, only for it to drop for a single. The center fielder, another ex-Ranger, then knocked the ball around, allowing Texas to score its first run.
“I was more worried about where [Anthony Volpe] was,” Kiner-Falefa said. “Game’s on me today. Gotta keep that ball in front. I got caught in between trying to make a play and playing it safe.”
Kiner-Falefa was later ruled safe on a stolen base, but he walked to the dugout as if he had been called out. Replay would have surely determined that, but the Rangers tagged the utility man instead.
Kiner-Falefa, taking more responsibility, called the play “dumb.”
“I heard someone scream ‘out’ in my ear,” he explained. “It might have been Marcus [Semien], it might have been the umpire. That can’t happen.”
The Rangers scored their second run in the eighth inning when Mitch Garver picked up an RBI single off Clay Holmes.
The Yankees’ first run came on a Billy McKinney dribbler in the second. The slow grounder plated Anthony Rizzo, who moved to third after the struggling DJ LeMahieu doubled. Kyle Higashioka then added a game-tying sac fly in the eighth.
“We got to do better to generate some offense.”
The Rangers’ starter, Dane Dunning, went seven strong innings while tallying three hits, one earned run, two walks and two strikeouts.
With the series’ first game in the books, the Yankees will turn to Luis Severino on Saturday.
Severino made relative strides his last time out, allowing three earned runs over five innings against the Red Sox on June 18. However, the right-hander has a 6.30 ERA this season and has allowed 19 earned runs over his last four starts, a stretch that includes 18.2 innings.
Jon Gray will start the late-afternoon game for the Rangers. Another righty, Gray has a 6-2 record, 2.96 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 13 starts and 76 innings this season.
Sunday’s series finale features a matchup between two early-season Cy Young candidates, Nathan Eovaldi and Gerrit Cole.
Eovaldi, a former Yankee and Houston native, is 9-3 with a 2.80 ERA in his first season with the Rangers. Cole, meanwhile, is 8-1 with a 2.64 ERA.
Source: Berkshire mont