Hamilton's homers not enough for Texas
By HOWIE RUMBERG
NEW YORK (AP) Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington has no problem with his offense. It's the New York Yankees pitchers who are causing the trouble.
The Rangers have been limited to four runs in the first three games of the four-game series between the teams with the best records in the AL.
"I wasn't expecting that. But, once again, pitching stops everything," Washington said. "You've got to give them credit. Their pitching stopped us. That's the difference right there."
Hamilton became the second player to reach 100 RBIs this season - Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was first - with his career-high 33rd homer, a line drive to right in the fourth inning. His majestic drive in the sixth was all Texas could muster in their eighth straight loss in the Bronx.
The lefty slugger had a shot for a third homer but struck out against Rafael Soriano in the ninth inning of a game that was delayed by rain 1 hour, 45 minutes at the start.
"When you're seeing the ball good, you feel like you can pretty much hit anything," Hamilton said. "But, at that point in the game, you just want to get somebody on base and give yourself a chance to tie the ballgame up."
Nick Swisher gave the Yankees the lead with an RBI double off Scott Feldman in a three-run third inning. Swisher put the Yankees ahead in the first two games, too. He hit a grand slam Monday and a two-run shot Tuesday night in a matchup between the teams with the best records in the AL.
Garcia (7-5) matched David Phelps and Hiroki Kuroda with another stellar start for the Yankees. He followed up Kuroda's two-hitter Tuesday by giving up four hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Garcia has not lost to the Rangers since 2004, going 4-0 with a 1.75 ERA in six starts coming in.
"Our guys have done a tremendous job," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I applaud our pitchers."
A well-rested bullpen then finished for the Yankees' seventh win in eight games.
With second baseman Robinson Cano getting a night off because of a stiff neck, Mark Teixeira serving as the designated hitter. Alex Rodriguez out with a broken hand, Derek Jeter was the only regular in the infield, and the Rangers tested the group in the fourth inning.
After Hamilton's homer, Adrian Beltre singled. Nelson Cruz then hit a grounder to Chavez, who chose to try for the force at second but his throw was late. Fill-in second baseman Jayson Nix's relay to Swisher, the substitute first baseman, was late, putting runners on first and second.
David Murphy walked to load the bases but Garcia got Geovany Soto to hit a grounder to Jeter. Swisher fell while stretching to keep his foot on the base and completed the 6-4-3 double play.
"Once again, Freddy made a pitch," Washington said. "He did exactly what you would like to see a pitcher do, make sure you get that ground ball, and he got it and got out of the inning."
Curtis Granderson had a sacrifice fly and Chavez added an RBI single, the first of his three hits.
But Feldman (6-8) pitched out of trouble in the fourth, fifth and six innings, working around three walks and two hits. In six innings overall, he allowed three runs, seven hits and four walks. He struck out seven.
"I didn't feel I was throwing the ball bad, even when that (the third inning) was going on". I just tried to keep doing what I was doing, and the defense made some plays behind me. They just got one more than us tonight."
Hamilton pulled the Rangers to 3-2 in the sixth, launching a mega-homer way up the bleachers in right. It was his third multihomer game this season.
Ian Kinsler was ejected by home plate umpire Vic Carapazza in the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes. He is 0 for 11 in the series.
NOTES: Rangers RHP Koji Uehara (strained right lat muscle) threw 20 pitches in batting practice without problems at Double-A Frisco. The plan is for him to throw 30 in a BP session Saturday. ... Rodriguez (broken left hand) will have another X-ray on Sunday. He said the results will help set the next steps in his rehabilitation. ... Hamilton had a four-homer game this season at Baltimore on May 8. ... Jeter has an 11-game hitting streak. ... Rangers INF Michael Young was given a day off from the starting lineup. He flied out in the seventh as a pinch-hitter and played second base in the ninth as Texas lost its DH spot. ... Rain knocked out the TV signal in the press box with one out to go in Seattle ace Felix Hernandez's perfect game.
Updated August 16, 2012