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Newcomers Chase Headley and Brandon McCarthy help Yanks stay hot with win over Rangers

Yankees starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy pitches in the

Yankees starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy pitches in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 2014. Photo Credit: AP

The outlook might not have been brilliant in Mudville Wednesday night, with rain flooding Yankee Stadium. But the sun came out Thursday and the Yankees' new star, the Mighty Headley, again lit the offensive fuse with an RBI single in a 4-2 win over the Rangers.

And that other soul just rescued from the baseball desert, Brandon McCarthy, picked up his second victory for the Pinstripes in his third straight solid start. He went six innings, allowed one run, four hits, two walks and struck out five.

So hearts are light and children shout in the Bronx, with the Yankees 6-1 since the All-Star break and temporarily tied for the second wild-card.

"There's accountability here," said Chase Headley, traded from a San Diego team living through a season of quiet desperation into a situation where, as the calendar is about to turn to August, his team lately is finding reliable staples throughout the roster.

"There's the energy that the Stadium brings to a player," said Headley, 3-for-10 as a Yankee, with two RBIs. "You feel it. Sometimes playing in -- I don't want to say meaningless games in San Diego -- but in games where you're out of it, you don't have that extra little focus.

"And when you come in here and there's 40,000 people, riled up and ready to go. There's that extra little energy you can kind of feed off. Part of it, too, is you just have good players around you."

McCarthy, too, is experiencing a personal revival since he was acquired from struggling Arizona 19 days ago.

"It's the opposite of how I felt earlier this year, where I was a burden on the team, I was the guy who was holding things up," said McCarthy (2-0, 1.45 as a Yankee after being 3-10, 5.01 in Arizona). "And to come here and feel good about myself again and to contribute is a great feeling.

"I really felt I was at a point where I wanted more pressure," McCarthy said, "and just to get in a situation now, it's ramped up all the way. I get the butterflies before the game again, you can feel it as the game goes on, to start sharp and to stay focused and to try to get the results."

Surrounding those two recently naturalized Yankees, Brett Gardner doubled to lead off the fourth and scored three batters later on Headley's single. Batting second, Gardner drove in the Yankees' third run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Francisco Cervelli, filling in for Brian McCann behind the plate while McCann fills in for injured Mark Teixeira at first base, doubled home the second Yankees run in the fifth, then scored on Gardner's sacrifice fly. McCann provided an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI double.

Plus, Dellin Betances and David Robertson, the tag-team late-inning relievers, put down Texas without a fuss in the eighth and ninth innings.

All that efficiency offset Texas' third-inning run, scratched out when Elvis Andrus' two-out pop-up landed just beyond the charging Jacoby Ellsbury and backpedaling Brian Roberts in short centerfield. And J.P. Arencibia's homer leading off the seventh on the fourth pitch from Adam Warren, who had just relieved McCarthy.

"It's a lift for our team," manager Joe Girardi said of Headley and McCarthy, "when you go out and get players that produce."

And joy for those two as well.


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