Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Freddy Steady for Yanks

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Freddy Steady for Yanks

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- While the Yankees were sitting through a rain delay in the Bronx, about 3,000 miles away Felix Hernandez was putting the finishing touches on a perfect game.

King Felix has been on the Yankees' radar as the Mariners steadfastly have insisted through every rebuild that they won't deal the ace. So the Yankees have been left to get by with what they have, complicated by the stays on the disabled list for CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte.

Wednesday night, the ball was handed to Freddy Garcia, 35 years old and surgically-repaired, and left with the task of trying to continue to shut down the potent Texas Rangers offense. And other than a pair of rocket solo homers by Josh Hamilton, Garcia did just that, leading the Yankees to a 3-2 win at Yankee Stadium.

The win was the third straight for the Yankees over the Rangers with the four-game set finishing off this afternoon. Even more unexpected than the three consecutive victories in a battle of the best teams in the American League is just how the Yankees have done it.

Filling in the blanks with makeshift pieces, the Yankees managed to limit the hard-hitting Rangers to just two runs in the first game of the four-game set and shut them out the next night, carrying a 16- inning scoreless streak into Wednesday's game. Garcia extended that streak to 19 innings before Hamilton drilled a 1-2 pitch into the second deck in right field.

Garcia would give up another blast to Hamilton in the sixth, this one deep into the bleachers in right-center field, but like the first, it was with no one on base and little harm done other than possibly shattering seats and spilling drinks. Garcia allowed only two other hits and made it through 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and just one walk, handing a one-run lead to the bullpen.

The bullpen was well-rested since rookie David Phelps and just- acquired Derek Lowe combined Monday, and then Hiroki Kuroda followed that with a complete-game, two-hit masterpiece Tuesday. …

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