Eric Chavez, who was filling in for an injured Alex Rodriguez, broke a 5-5 tie with an eighth inning RBI single to lift the Bombers to a 6-5 victory. Texas starting pitcher, Alexei Ogando entered the contest with a 0.00 ERA, but the Yankees mashed three homers off of the young righty. CC Sabathia started the game for the Yankees and gave them 6.1 innings of four run ball. With the win tonight, the Yankees take the first series against their 2010 ALCS foe. More importantly, the Yankees improve to 9-5 and remain in first place.

Recap

Tonight’s win symbolized that the Yankees are a tough matchup for any team. Given their power, deep bench, and strong bullpen, the Yankees are never out of any game. That bench was on full display today as Eric Chavez started at third base for the injured Alex Rodriguez. Chavez went 2 for 4, delivering the game inning hit in the bottom of the eighth inning against reliever, Arthur Rhodes. Chavez also made a smooth play on an Elvis Andrus ground ball to end the game. Rodriguez who left yesterday’s game with soreness in his oblique and lower back had an MRI that came back ‘clean’. The Bombers hope to have him back against Toronto on Tuesday.

Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, and Russell Martin all homered in the win. I was at the game tonight and the sky illuminated with a sporadic bolts of lightning. Luckily for the Bombers, their trio of power bats lit up the sky on their accord. The Yankees have now smacked an MLB-high 24 home runs in 2011.

CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant tonight, but he battled and kept the Yankees in the contest. Outside of the pesky Michael Young and surging Adrian Beltre, Sabathia limited the Ranger lineup to a 3 for 18 outing. Sabathia hasn’t recorded a win this season, but has an impressive 2.25 ERA. Sabathia left the seventh inning with the lead, but Joba Chamberlain, who was pitching on back-to-back days, gave up the lead on a Michael Young double. Joba bounced back, recording the final two outs of the seventh and allowed So and Mo to clean up the last two innings. Mariano Rivera now has a MLB-high seven saves so far. Rafael Soriano picked up his first win as a Yankee. Crazy that he now has more victories than CC.

Key Stats

.140: It’s no secret that Brett Gardner has been struggling and his .140 illustrates that point. Gardner only saw five pitches in his two plates appearances and has not recorded a hit since Wednesday against the Orioles. Gardner relies on working the count and getting on-base. He has to pick it up.

.467: Eric Chavez’s batting average. With A-Rod ailing, Chavez has filled in nicely.

0.00: Mariano Rivera’s 2011 ERA

What’s Next?

The Yankees have a short week coming up. They have tomorrow and Thursday off. The Bombers will travel North to take on the Toronto Blue Jays for a short two-game set.

Tuesday, 7:10 PM: AJ Burnett (3-0, 4.67 ERA) vs. Kyle Drabek (1-0, 1.93 ERA)