“I had a blast. The atmosphere was fantastic. It was fun to play in,” Rangers pitcher Dane Dunning said after Adolis García's two-run homer on Michael King’s first pitch of the 10th inning sparked the Rangers to a 4-2 win Friday night.
“That's just a bonehead play,” New York's Isiah Kiner-Falefa said of his rally-stopping baserunning mistake earlier in the game.
Seeking its first division title since 2016, Texas has won five of six and leads the AL West at 47-28. The Rangers top the major leagues with 455 runs and a .272 batting average.
New York dropped to 10-16 this season with Aaron Judge on the injured list, losing six of its last eight games and 10 of 16 since he s prained his right big toe at Dodger Stadium on June 3. New York is 31-19 with the AL MVP available.
Yankees bats have produced 60 runs and a .192 batting average in June, both major league lows. They had six hits or fewer for the 11th time in 16 games since Judge's latest injury - including five of the last six. Giancarlo Stanton is hitting .096 (5 for 52) with a pair of solo homers for his only RBIs since returning from a strained hamstring.
“We've got to mount more,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “We've got to do better to generate some offense.”
New York went ahead in the second after Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch and slumping DJ LaMahieu hit a one-out double. Dunning got the next three batters to hit soft grounders on the first pitch. The second, by Billy McKinney, drove in a run.
Ezequiel Durán reached on an infield single for Texas in the fourth and scored from first when Leody Taveras' two-out popup off Clarke Schmidt dropped into short center, 236 feet from the plate. The ball fell between rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe and Kiner-Falefa, who made his 22nd career start in center field - all this season. Kiner-Falefa overran the ball for an error.
“I wasn’t able to cover because I was more worried about where Volpe was. The game's on me today,” Kiner-Falefa said. “It’s something that keeps popping up and it can’t happen. You get guys hurt or I get hurt and you lose ballgames like that.”
Kiner-Falefa tried to steal second base in the fifth and was called safe by umpire John Bacon even though IKF’s foot popped off the base. Kiner-Falefa started walking toward the Yankees’ dugout and was tagged out by second baseman Marcus Semien; a video review likely would have seen Kiner-Falefa called out.
“That's another dumb play that can't happen,” Kiner-Falefa said. “I heard someone scream `Out!' in my ear. It might have been Marcus. It might have been the umpire.”
Mitch Garver's two-out RBI single in the eighth off Clay Holmes gave Texas a 2-1 lead, but pinch-hitter Kyle Higashioka’s sacrifice fly against John King tied the score in the bottom half.
García drove a hanging curve from Michael King (1-4) into the left-field seats, giving him 17 homers and leaving him tied with Boston's Rafael Devers with a big league-best 60 RBIs.
Michael King has a 9.82 ERA in his last six appearances, up from a 1.65 ERA in his first 19. His right hip has been more square to the plate, keeping his back leg from driving toward the plate. King has been trying for a couple of weeks to adjust his set position.
“The first couple I was thinking mechanically and I realized that that isn't a good mentality to have when you're facing big league hitters,” he said. “So then I just went more into focusing on it in catch play and bullpens and then attacking hitters, and I fell right back into the same habit.”
Joe Barlow (1-0) worked around a two-out single in the ninth, and Will Smith pitched a perfect the 10th for his 14th save in 15 chances.
Dunning gave up two runs and five hits in seven-plus innings, while Schmidt allowed an unearned run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“They've got potential All-Stars up and down the lineup,” Schmidt marveled. “Even their 8-, 9-hole guys are in contention for an All-Star team.”
Nathan Eovaldi will start Sunday’s series finale on normal rest and flip spots with Andrew Heaney, who will take the mound Monday in a homestand opener against Detroit.
Robbie Grossman’s second-inning double made him 5 for 5 in his career against Schmidt with three doubles and a homer. Grossman grounded out his next two times up against the 27-year-old right-hander.
Lynn Williams of the U.S. Women’s World Cup team threw out the ceremonial first pitch, bouncing it to the third-base side of the plate.
Rangers: RHP Jack Leiter, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 amateur draft, was scratched from his start for Double-A Frisco. The Rangers said he will miss one turn because of fatigue and workload management and they will put him on the developmental list.
Yankees: LHP Nestor Cortes (strained left rotator cuff) is about a week from throwing off a mound. ... DH/OF Willie Calhoun’s strained left quadriceps is between grade 1 and 2.
Yankees RHP Luis Severino (0-2, 6.30 ERA) and Texas RHP Jon Gray (6-2, 2.96) start Saturday. Gray is 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his last seven starts.
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