The Bronx Bombers exploded in the bottom of the fourth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and tacking on seven runs to take the lead away from Texas.
Losing 3-2, Johnny Damon tied the game at three with an RBI single to score Melky Cabrera.
Alex Rodriguez came up later in the frame and grounded into a fielder’s choice, allowing Jeter to score his 1,500th career run and take the lead, 4-3.
Jeter also had three hits in the game and widened his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest among Yankees with current hitting streaks.
Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada each had RBI singles in the inning, and Hideki Matsui topped it off with a three-run homer to right, his eighth of the season, to give the Yankees a 9-3 edge after four innings.
Posada added three runs in the bottom of the sixth with a home run, a shot that almost made the upper deck in right field, but landed safely in the second tier. For Posada it was his seventh homer of the year.
“There’s going to be days where we swing the bat, and we swung the bat well,” Posada said to the YES Network after the game.
“I didn’t think the home run ball would hit the upper deck. Teixeira is going to do it!”
The Yankees also had RBI contributions from Brett Gardner, who knocked in Matsui in the bottom of the second with a single, and received a gift from Rangers starter Vicente Padilla who balked with the bases loaded allowing Gardner to cross the plate.
All three of the Rangers' runs came off the bat of Nelson Cruz, who launched a three-run home run into the left field seats in the top of the third inning.
The Yanks were good tonight, but not perfect like they had been for the past 18 games. The error-less streak ended tonight when Posada air-mailed a throw over Jeter’s head attempting to catch Elvis Andrus stealing in the top of the fourth.
Taking the hill for the Yanks was A.J. Burnett, and he turned in a good performance. He went seven innings and gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out eight.
“He had a little blip in the third, but overall his stuff was really good tonight,” Yankee manager Joe Girardi said of Burnett’s pitching.
“I thought A.J. gave us a good outing tonight, and any night your starter can give you seven strong innings is a good night.”
Burnett was also warned by home plate umpire Doug Eddings in the top of the fifth when he came up and in with a pitch on Cruz, which may have been retaliation from the previous inning.
Teixeira had been hit by two pitches in the game, once in the second inning and was plastered for the second time in the fourth.
“Anyone who knows Vicente knows how he does it,” Teixeira told the media.
“It’s not the right way to play the game, and unfortunately he’s been doing that his whole career. There’s really no reason for it.”
He barked at Padilla after being drilled the second time, and kept the huge fourth inning alive by sliding hard at second base to give Rodriguez his fielder’s choice.
“Teixeira taking out Andrus led to us getting more runs, so it was a good play on his part,” Girardi told the press.
The Yankees and Rangers avoided fisticuffs and no player on either side was run from the game following the warning.
Burnett picked up the win and improved his record to 4-2.
Padilla could not get out of the fourth inning and takes the loss. He season record is now 3-3.
Tomorrow night, the Yanks and Rangers will play game two at Yankee Stadium.
Andy Pettitte (5-1, 4.10 ERA) will look to keep the Bombers rolling against Texas, and will be opposed by 26-year-old right hander Scott Feldman (4-0, 3.91 ERA).
Media Credit: YES Network, Yankees.com