Andy Pettitte effective, but Yankees lose to Rangers in Matt Garza's debut

Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch against the Texas Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers. (July 24, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- At this stage of his career, Andy Pettitte is not interested in the silver linings.

A loss is a loss is a loss.

And so the veteran lefthander wasn't much for discussing anything but the bottom line after the Yankees' 3-1 loss to the Rangers Wednesday night at Rangers Ballpark. Not with him having allowed a home run to the left-handed hitting A.J. Pierzynski with two outs in the sixth inning that snapped a 1-1 tie.

"When you don't win, you don't take anything from it, it's a loss,'' Pettitte said. "Another frustrating start. It hurts to let a lefthander beat you right there."

The pitch Pierzynski hit out was a 1-and-2 cutter Pettitte wanted to "bounce" in front of the plate but it didn't come in quite as low as the pitcher wanted. The Rangers DH, who had an RBI single in the first to make it 1-0, golfed it over the wall in right for his 10th homer.

"I thought it was a pretty good pitch but he got the barrel on it," Pettitte said. Big picture, however, the start was more encouraging than discouraging.

The 41-year-old came in 4-7 with a 5.14 ERA over his last 14 starts and had allowed at least three earned runs in each of his previous sevens. Wednesday night Pettitte allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings, and fell to 7-8 with a 4.39 ERA.

He was outpitched by Matt Garza, who made his Rangers debut after being dealt to Texas earlier in the week. The righthander escaped a first-and-third, one-out jam in the first and mostly cruised afterward, allowing one run and five hits, none of them homers, making it six straight games in which the Yankees (53-48) have failed to hit one -- their longest streak without a home run since 1996.

"Our guys are giving a great effort so I don't get frustrated,'' Girardi said of the offense. "Even the last inning we had a shot."

After David Murphy homered in the eighth off Kelley to make it 3-1, lefty Neal Cotts, who replaced Garza with one out in the eighth, retired the first two batters of the ninth. Rangers manager Ron Washington called on Joe Nathan, who blew the save in Tuesday's 5-4 Yankees victory, to face Vernon Wells. The DH singled, bringing up Eduardo Nuñez, whose triple off Nathan tied Tuesday's game. Nathan won the battle Wednesday night, inducing a pop out to short.

Pettitte would not put the blame on the offense.

"I feel like every time out there we're going to score,'' Pettitte said. "I hate it that I just can't go out there and throw zeros up when we need them. We're going to score. Obviously we know it's a tough go right now but we scored five runs [Tuesday] night. We scored seven [Sunday] night in Boston. You just have to keep going out there and grinding it out.

"I feel like if I go out there in the sixth and put up a zero instead of giving up the lead, we may score that next inning. It's just extremely frustrating."

The Rangers gave Garza a lead in the first when Pierzynski hit a two-out single that brought in Ian Kinsler, who led off with a first-pitch single against Pettitte.

The Yankees, after failing to sc ore in the first, did not have another scoring chance until the sixth when Brett Gardner reached on an infield single and advanced to third on Garza's two-base throwing error. Robinson Cano's second hit of the night, a liner to right-center, brought in the run to tie it at 1.

But as has been the case so many times this season, the offense was not heard from again.

"Our guys are grinding and that's all you can do,'' Pettitte said. "Our team, this is what we have. And we're going out there and battling and competing and I love it. Everybody's giving a great effort, and we just have to keep doing that and hopefully we can figure out a way to turn this thing around."

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