Melky Cabrera once again proved his worth as a situational hitter on Thursday afternoon.
For Cabrera, it was his sixth home run of 2009 and also his sixth go-ahead hit for the Yanks this year.
“Melky has a knack for doing it for us,” Yankee skipper Joe Girardi said.
“Our guys kept going after them and going after them, and our club feels like we can come back at any time. There’s confidence in the clubhouse.”
Mark Teixeira got the Yanks into the game in the bottom of the fifth. With the Bombers down 5-2, he doubled down the left field line to score Ramiro Pena, Johnny Damon, and Nick Swisher, tying the game at five.
Swisher also recorded an RBI in the inning as he walked with the bases loaded to score Francisco Cervelli, and Alex Rodriguez gave the Yankees a lead in the frame with an RBI single, completing the big six-run inning.
Damon recorded the first Yankee run in the bottom of the first inning, smacking a lead-off homer to right, his 11th of the year, to put the Yanks on the board.
The 6-5 Yankee lead in the bottom of the fifth was short-lived, as Ian Kinsler quickly tied the game in the top of the sixth with a solo home run high off the foul pole in left, knotting the game at six.
Also playing long ball was Nelson Cruz of the Rangers, who launched a solo shot into the Texas bullpen in the top of the fifth, a homer good for his 16th big fly of the year.
The Rangers also saw offensive help from Chris Davis, who scored on a wild pitch and also doubled to score David Murphy and Marlon Byrd.
Hank Blalock also had an RBI single in the top of the third to score Kinsler, capping off the Rangers’ offense on the day.
On the mound for the Yankees today was Chien-Ming Wang, who made his first start since April 18 when he gave up eight hits and eight runs to Cleveland.
Today, Wang lasted 4.2 innings, gave up five earned runs on seven hits, walked one, and struck out five.
“He looked a little better than his numbers indicated,” Girardi noted.
“He left that ball up to Cruz, but I thought he was throwing well. It is going to take time to build him up to where we want him to be, but overall I was happy with his stuff.”
Girardi said Wang is scheduled to make his next start on Tuesday in Boston, and is looking to have Wang up to 85-90 pitches, a step up from the 69 he tossed today.
David Robertson earned the win and now has a 1-0 record on the year.
C.J. Wilson, who surrendered the home run to Cabrera, gets the loss and falls to an even 3-3.
Mariano Rivera nailed down save No. 12 on the season.
Tomorrow night the Tampa Bay Rays will come to town to face the Yankees, opening up a three-game weekend series.
David Price, a 23 year-old left-hander out of Vanderbilt (1-0, 3.00 ERA), will face Yankees’ ace CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.46 ERA).
Media Credit: YES Network, Yankees.com