Marlon Byrd was the hero Monday night. Matt Harrison and Chris Davis took that role on Tuesday night.
Harrison, a 22-year-old lefty, pitched 6 1/3 strong innings giving up just two runs and striking out three for his third career win. That was more than enough for the Rangers who got a two-run home run from Josh Hamilton in the first and a three-run double from Chris Davis in the seventh.
The Rangers just kept chipping away at Yankee starter Andy Pettitte (12-9) for two runs in the first, one in the second, one in the fourth and one in the sixth.
After Harrison exited with two on and one out in the seventh Josh Rupe came in to relieve him. After two walks, one of which walked in a run, Rupe was out of the inning with minimal damage. The bases were loaded with just one out.
Then in the bottom of the inning the Rangers would get the insurance they needed. With Michael Young and Hamilton striking out to start the inning the next three batters reached and the bases were loaded for Davis who shot a 1-0 pitch down the right field line past a diving Jason Giambi to clear the bases.
That put the Rangers up 8-2 with the looks of an easy win. That was until C.J. Wilson entered the game.
Wilson can be a lights out closer when he is on, but when he is not things get scary. After not pitching in a few games citing fatigue and a mechanical problem as the reason the Rangers brought him into the game in the eighth inning with a big lead so he could work out his problems.
That didn't happen, in fact, his problems grew. Leadoff hitter Bobby Abreu walked, he hit Alex Rodriguez, struck out Xavier Nady, walked Robinson Cano and Richie Sexon made him pay. This time the Yankees hit a grand slam, but it was still not enough.
Jamey Wright came in to finish the eighth and Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his third save of the season. Wilson will be sent to Los Angeles to have surgery to remove bone spurs and could be the end of his season.
The Rangers are still five games behind Boston in the Wild Card standings, but are now just 1.5 games behind the Yankees and 2.5 behind the Minnesota Twins.
Texas will continue their series against the Yankees tonight at 7:05 p.m. CT sending rookie Tommy Hunter (0-0) to the mound for his second career start and the Yankees with counter with former Ranger Sidney Ponson (6-2).