Chase Headley wins it for Yankees in 14th

Francisco Cervelli of the Yankees hits an RBI
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Francisco Cervelli of the Yankees hits an RBI double in the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, July 24, 2014.(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

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For the Yankees, it didn't exactly feel like a game for the time capsule. But for their newest teammate, Chase Headley, maybe it could qualify.

Headley, just hours into his Yankees career after the afternoon news that he had been obtained in a trade with San Diego, stroked the winning RBI single in the 14th inning to lift the Yankees to a 2-1 victory Tuesday night over the Texas Rangers.

Brian Roberts hit a one-out, ground-rule double and advanced to third on Francisco Cervelli's single to short right. That gave Headley, the 30-year-old veteran who had spent his first seven big-league seasons with San Diego, a second chance to be the hero.

Having entered the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, he left the bases loaded with he grounded out to end the 12th.

"Real chaotic" is how Headley described the day. "Awesome, though. Long day, but a great way to finish."

His former team was in Chicago to play the Cubs when Headley was summoned to New York. "When I found out I had mixed emotions, when you're been in a place as long as I've been in San Diego," he said.

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"But I couldn't be happier to be a Yankee. It's unbelievable."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Headley arrived in the team's dugout around 7:30, with the game already in the second inning of the long, scoreless slog. "He introduced himself around," Girardi said, "and I told him to be ready to hit when the spot came up.

"He had a whirlwind of a day."

While Headley was settling in, spending some time in the batting cage under the stands to be ready, his new mates generated just four hits through 11 innings. Texas wasn't doing much better, with seven hits -- six of those singles -- scattered through the 51/3 innings worked by Yankees rookie Chase Whitley.

In the eighth, after the Yankees had managed only one hit and one walk in their 23 previous at-bats, Headley pinch hit for Zelous Wheeler with two outs. And struck out.

Derek Jeter's 535th double, with one out in the ninth, pushed him past Lou Gehrig for the franchise lead. But he was stranded there when Carlos Beltran bounced into an inning-ending double play

But, back to Headley: He made a leaping catch of Rougned Odor's shot to third base to end the 10th and grounded out in the 11th before his bases-loaded ground out in the 12th. That came after an infield hit, wild pitch, misplayed pop-up, sacrifice bunt and intentional walk, followed by Cervelli's line-drive out to Adrian Beltre at third.

But even when J.P. Arencibia led off the 13th inning with a home run off David Huff, the seventh Yankees pitcher, for a 1-0 Texas lead, nothing was settled. The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the inning when Jacoby Ellsbury singled home Brett Gardner, who had doubled.

Headley, with one more last chance in the 14th, came through. "Sometimes these things happen," he said. "There's a lot of nerves there. I just kind of step out of the box and thought, '"Why not?"'

Whether the night represented some fork in the road for the Yankees wasn't entirely clear. They are 4-1 since the All-Star break, (51-48 overall). And their new third baseman's first game was a real winner.

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