Texas Rangers' Elvis Andrus, left, and Yorvit Torrealba, right, congratulate teammate Adrian Beltre (29) on his solo home run off of New York Yankees' Phil Hughes in the second inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:15 pm
Rangers beat Yankees 7-3 for 6th series win in row
By STEPHEN HAWKINSAP Sports Writer
Mike Napoli and Mitch Moreland also homered for the two-time defending AL champion Rangers (15-4), who have the best record in the majors.
Texas was ahead to stay after Beltre led off the second against Phil Hughes (1-3) with his third homer, a 441-foot drive that landed high on the grassy hill in straightaway center field. Beltre's first run-scoring single came an inning later when Texas added three more runs.
Rookie left-hander Robbie Ross (4-0) struck out two while working 2 2-3 perfect innings in relief of spot starter Scott Feldman.
After Elvis Andrus' RBI groundout in the third, Josh Hamilton was hit near his right knee by a pitch. Beltre then singled to right before Michael Young's double made it 4-0.
Hughes was gone after hitting the next batter, though the inside pitch only skimmed the wind-blown jersey of Nelson Cruz, who didn't seem to realize what had happened until home plate umpire Brian Runge stepped out and pointed toward first base.
The Rangers have won 12 consecutive regular season series overall, dating back to last year.
New York had won six road games in a row after their 7-4 victory in the series opener at Texas. But the Yankees have now lost consecutive games for the first time since getting swept in three games at Tampa Bay to start the season.
Derek Jeter had two more hits, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. He raised his average to .420 and his majors-leading hits total to 34.
Napoli led off the fourth with his seventh homer. That came off David Phelps, who gave up a leadoff shot to Moreland two innings later before Beltre had another RBI single.
Raul Ibanez drove in two runs for the Yankees, including a solo homer that landed deep in the second deck of seats in right field off Neftali Feliz to start the seventh.
Feliz, the closer-turned-No. 5 starter, pitched an inning of relief since the Rangers are skipping his turn in the rotation since his scheduled day to pitch was Thursday.
It was the first relief appearance for Feliz since his blown save in Game 6 of the World Series, when Texas was twice within a strike of a championship-clinching victory before losing.
Texas led 4-0 after 2 2-3 innings against Hughes, whose season ERA increased from 6.75 to 7.88. The big right-hander allowed five hits, struck out two and then hit two batters in his last inning.
Hughes had allowed only three hits in 15 1-3 scoreless innings his previous three regular-season appearances against Texas - all at Rangers Ballpark. His first major league victory came there in May 2007, when he threw 6 1-3 scoreless innings in his second major league start.
But there were also those two AL championship series games in Texas since, when Hughes allowed 11 runs in 8 2-3 innings to lose both in 2010.
NOTES: Andy Pettitte, the 39-year-old LHP working on a comeback to the Yankees rotation after a year hiatus, allowed three earned runs and seven singles in five-plus innings for Double-A Trenton. He threw 59 of 81 pitches for strikes. ... Yankees RHP Michael Pineda will miss the entire season because of a tear in the labrum of his right shoulder. He will have arthroscopic surgery Tuesday. ... All three games against the Yankees were sellouts. The Rangers have already sold every reserved seat for all three games this weekend against the Rays.