Texas Rangers at New York Yankees
- The Rangers lost, 9-6, in Toronto on Sunday, losing their fifth consecutive series in the process. Texas was 35-35 entering its game on June 17 in Oakland, but has won just four times in its last 28 games since.
- New York beat Cincinnati, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium yesterday, sweeping the Reds for the first time in franchise history with the victory. The Yanks are now 9-5 in their last 14 games overall (since July 3).
- This is the first of seven games in the next 10 days between the Rangers and Yankees, who are meeting for the first time of 2014 tonight. Texas and New York have split 14 games since the beginning of 2012, each winning seven of those contests.
- Miles Mikolas has lost each of his last two outings, posting a 13.00 ERA in those starts (9.0 IP, 13 ER). This will be Mikolas' first career appearance vs. the Yankees.
- Shane Greene pitched 7.1 innings of shutout ball vs. the Orioles at Camden Yards on July 12, and is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his first two career MLB starts overall. Over the last 50 seasons, the only Yankee pitcher to win the first three starts of his MLB career was Jose Contreras in 2003.
- Derek Jeter went 1-for-5 yesterday, and is now batting .368 (7-for-19) during his current five-game hitting streak. Jeter has 24 career home runs against the Rangers -- tied for his second most vs. any opponent (25 vs. Red Sox).
- Papelbon banned 7 games for lewd gesture
- Orioles 1 win away from AL East title
- Nats beat Braves, cut magic number to 2
- Pujols leaves with cramp in hamstring
- Tigers win fourth in row, still up 1 1-2
By JOHN KOSIK
(AP) -- Missing the playoffs in two straight years for the first time in Derek Jeter's career is not the sendoff the New York Yankees want to give their retiring captain.
General manager Brian Cashman is trying to prevent it, and his most recent move paid off immediately against the Texas Rangers.
After coming over in a trade that the Yankees hope will bolster the offense, Chase Headley gave them a victory and now makes his first start at third base Wednesday night in the third of a four-game set.
The biggest injury concerns for the Yankees (51-48) are in the starting rotation, but several ailments have also sidelined Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran at times. Teixeira, who has a team-leading 17 homers and 48 RBIs, is out with a strained back muscle.
Cashman tried to address the pitching concerns by adding Brandon McCarthy in a trade with Arizona early this month before acquiring Headley from San Diego on Tuesday.
Headley, who spent his first eight seasons with the Padres, was hitting .229 with seven homers and 32 RBIs but had a .339 average over his last 13 games in the NL.
He came on as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning Tuesday and went 0 for 3 before delivering a run-scoring single in the 14th that gave New York a 2-1 victory and a fourth win in five games out of the All-Star break.
"Unbelievable," Headley said. "I'm excited to be here. I can't wait to help, and just to be a part of this great franchise."
The 30-year-old switch-hitter could benefit from the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium after playing in the cavernous Petco Park in San Diego. He has just 87 career homers, 58 of which have come from the left side of the plate.
New York, which has put up the second-fewest runs in the AL (393), was held scoreless for 17 innings by a Rangers team with the highest ERA in the AL before tying it in the 13th after Texas had gone ahead.
Helping to fill the gaps in a battered New York rotation missing four of its initial starters is David Phelps (4-4, 3.87 ERA), who has posted a 2.52 ERA over his last four outings.
The right-hander went 6 1-3 innings in Friday's 4-3 win over Cincinnati, giving up three runs - two earned - with seven strikeouts for his first victory since June 19.
He'll be opposed by Yu Darvish (9-5, 2.88), one of the few bright spots - along with Adrian Beltre - during a trying season for Texas (40-60). Darvish, however, has seemed far more hittable since mid-June after a dominant start to 2014.
After going 7-2 with a 2.11 ERA through 12 starts, the right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.66 mark over his previous six, though he does have a pair of stellar outings in that span. Darvish struck out 12 and allowed one run over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-1 win at Toronto on Friday that ended his team's eight-game skid.
"Guys like Darvish, I don't care what your lineup is, they're gonna cut you up good and limit your opportunities," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told MLB's official website.
Jeter hit his 535th double in the ninth inning Tuesday to snap a tie with Lou Gehrig atop the team's all-time list.
Rangers catcher Geovany Soto (groin) was placed on the disabled list Tuesday after playing in three games since returning from knee surgery that had kept him out all season.
Updated July 23, 2014