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ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 28: (L-R) Chris Young #24 of the New York Yankees celebrates his grand slam with John Ryan Murphy #66 in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 28, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Series Recap: Yankees at Rangers

You know what they say: “The offense at night, is big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.” Well not exactly. However, this saying applies for the4-game series between the Yankees and the Texas Rangers. At least 5 runs were scored by the winning side in each of the first 3 games, and the Yankees used a 21-run outburst to take the 2nd game. All told, the Yankees split the series, and still hold first place in the AL East.

The first game, a 6-2 Yankees victory, coincided with a milestone for Alex Rodriguez. He homered on his 40th birthday, becoming the 4th player to homer in his teens and his 40s. His solo shot in the 6th was insurance though, as the Yankees scored 3 in the 3rd off of Matt Harrison to take a lead that they would not relinquish. In that inning, Didi Gregorius blasted a two-run homer as part of a 4 RBI performance. Gregorius also had a 2-run single in the 7th inning, and added a third hit in the 9th. Chase Headley also had 3 hits, and Chris Young added a sac fly for the Bronx Bombers.

The Rangers were kept mostly in check by Ivan Nova for 5 innings, raking in only 5 hits and 2 runs. The bullpen kept Texas hitless over the final 4 innings to seal the deal. Elvis Andrus doubled and Leonys Martin added a single to open the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd off of Nova, but that would be it for the ballgame. Martin had the best day for the Rangers, going 1-3 with that single and RBI, and also walked. The Rangers went 1-12 with runners in scoring position and left 9 men on base in the loss.

Tuesday night was a spectacle for all of baseball to witness, and left no man at mercy. The Yanks scored 11 times in the 2nd inning alone and pounded the poor Rangers 21-5. The 21 runs set an MLB season high, and the best part is that they came back from a 5-0 deficit in the 1st inning. After Yankees starter Chris Capuano gave up 5 walks and 3 hits in the bottom of the first to give Texas a 5-run cushion, it looked like it was going to be a long night for the fans watching in New York. Diego Moreno replaced Capuano in the first inning, and threw 5.1 innings of no-hit ball. The Rangers actually didn’t get a hit in the final 8.1 innings, thanks to the combo of Moreno and Adam Warren.

The Yankees had a field day, scoring 15 runs between the second and third innings. While the Yankees only needed to use 3 pitchers, the Rangers wasted 7 arms, including position player Adam Rosales. Every Yankees starter, except the incomparable Stephen Drew, reached base at least once, and 7 of the 9 starters had multi-hit games. The Yankees hit only 2 home runs all game, but one of them was a grand slam off the bat of Young. Gregorius and Young were the main cogs of this attack. The shortstop exploded again for 4 hits and 3 RBI, and Young had 3 hits and 5 RBI. The team hit double digits in walks with 10, had 19 hits, and grounded into only one double-play.

Unfortunately, the Yankees used up all of their offense on Tuesday, because Colby Lewis stifled them to two runs in 6 innings in a 5-2 Rangers victory. Lewis scattered 7 hits and did not walk a batter. Although the pinstripes took the lead thanks to a Carlos Beltran homer and a Jacoby Ellsbury single, they couldn’t keep it as the Rangers scored 3 times in the next half-inning to take the lead for good. Stephen Drew came through with two hits for his ballclub, but it was all for naught as he could not score.

Masahiro Tanaka went 6 innings as well, but gave up 4 runs and 3 walks. The resurgent Josh Hamilton nearly beat the Yankees by himself. He had 2 hits and 2 RBI, and drove in a third run on a double play. Shin Soo Choo paced Texas with 3 hits, and Adrian Beltre added 2 hits to contribute to the win.

Strong offensive play, and poor starting pitching, were both on display by the two sides in the series finale. The game remained deadlocked until the bottom of the 9th, when Josh Hamilton was able to drive a single past Mark Teixeira to score Martin and end the game with a 7-6 final. Hamilton finished with 4 RBI, as he also homered in the first inning. Texas was also powered by homers from Choo and Ryan Rua. CC Sabathia wasn’t sharp again, allowing 3 first inning runs and a total of 5 in 5 innings.

The Yankees were able to stay in the game thanks to their big names. They were able to open up the game with a 3-run top of the first, highlighted by a homer off the bat of Teixeira. His 7th inning homer broke a 5-5 tie and gave the Yankees a 1-run lead, which they ultimately gave up in the latter half of the 7th, and lost the game in the 9th. Brian McCann also had 2 hits and 2 RBI.

The Yankees were able to win split the series, which is always important in the lengthy 4-game set. Here are the best and worst storylines from this series:

Offensive MVP: Didi Gregorius- 7 RBI and a 9-15 series for the shortstop that may be heating up.

Offensive Slug: Brett Gardner– Slumping since the All-Star break, just 3-15.

Pitcher of the Series: Ivan Nova- the only Yankees starter to give up less than 4 runs. Short but effective outing.

Pitching Agony: CC Sabathia- Just is not effective anymore. It’s almost like getting teeth pulled when he pitches.