ARLINGTON, Texas - Their starting pitcher lasted two-thirds of an inning, putting them in an immediate five-run hole.
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They needed all of a half-inning to take the lead, doing so with a remarkable 11-run second, sending the Bombers to a 21-5 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night in front of 28,403 at Globe Life Park.
"I don't know if I've been a part of that," Joe Girardi said. "Where you give up five in the first and you don't give up another hit the rest of the game and you score 21 runs. I don't know if I'll ever see that again."
The Yankees, a season-best 15 games over .500 at 57-42, an MLB-best 16-5 in July and seven games ahead in the AL East, sent 15 to the plate in the 11-run inning, collecting nine of their 19 total hits. The vast majority of the second-inning damage came against overmatched Rangers lefthander Martin Perez (0-2, 10.50), who allowed eight runs and seven hits in his one inning plus eight batters.
It was the biggest inning for the Yankees since they scored 12 in the first inning against the Orioles in Game 2 of a doubleheader July 30, 2011.
"I've seen a snowman put up in an inning," Brendan Ryan said. "But I've never seen 11. It's fun to be a part of."
Ryan had a pair of RBI doubles in the inning, Chase Headley contributed a pair of RBI singles and a suddenly scorching Didi Gregorius, who had a career-best four hits, ripped a three-run triple.
"I would say I never lost confidence but it's getting better and better," said Gregorius, now in a 14-for-32 stretch that has raised his average to .257 (it was .215 as recently as June 1). "It's been really good."
Chris Young hit a grand slam, his second of the season and fourth of his career, in the third to make it 15-5. His RBI double in the sixth made it 17-5.
The Yankees had 14 hits through three innings. The Rangers (47-52) had no hits after the first.
"It was fun," Young said of his night. "Not just mine, for everybody."
Everybody but Chris Capuano, who got the start as Joe Girardi wanted to give all of his starters an extra day of rest.
The struggling 36-year-old lefthander (6.97 ERA) received the most fortunate no-decision of his career, and is a candidate to be designated for assignment Wednesday.
"I try not to worry about that stuff," Capuano said. "That's not my department. They're going to make the decisions they need to make the team better."
Capuano threw 42 pitches, 18 for strikes and allowed five runs, three hits and five walks in his two-thirds of an inning.
Rookie Diego Moreno, 28, called up from Triple-A Scranton because the Yankees believed they might need a long reliever Tuesday night, relieved Capuano and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. Then Moreno (1-0) went another five innings without allowing a hit. His likely reward will be a ticket back to Triple-A.
"I think Diego is the guy tonight," Young said. "To come into the situation he came into, he was nasty."
Brett Gardner, who reached base six times, hit a two-run homer off Rangers infielder Adam Rosales in the ninth to make it 21-5.
"They're feeling confident and feeling great at the plate," Girardi said. "Our guys just stayed right at it."