One example of what has allowed the Yankees to keep rolling despite multiple injuries to their rotation came Tuesday night when Hiroki Kuroda shut out the Rangers.
And his contributions, by and large, have been appreciated by fans.
Not so for Freddy Garcia.
But the veteran righthander has been solid since injuries necessitated his reinsertion into the rotation and he produced his best start of the year Wednesday night in a 3-2 victory over the Rangers in front of 45,921 at the Stadium.
"Just a tremendous job,'' Joe Girardi said of Garcia, who improved to 5-3 with a 3.69 ERA in nine starts since Andy Pettitte went on the disabled list June 28. His five victories lead the rotation since Pettitte got hurt.
"I'm really happy, I'm glad I got another opportunity to be in the rotation,'' said Garcia, who was yanked from the rotation after going 0-2 with a 12.51 ERA in four April starts. "I've just tried to pitch good and get the team some wins.''
The Yankees (70-47), who have won seven of eight, can complete a four-game sweep of the Rangers (67-49) with a victory this afternoon.
Ivan Nova will try to duplicate what the previous three Yankee starters have done -- hold the Rangers' potent offense, which leads the AL in runs (580). The Rangers have totaled only four runs in the series.
"Very surprising, I wasn't expecting that,'' Rangers manager Ron Washington said "Once again, pitching stops everything. You have to give them credit. Their pitching stopped us.''
Garcia (7-5, 4.68) allowed four hits in 62/3 innings of the game that was delayed 1 hour, 45 minutes at the start by rain. Two of the hits were long home runs by Josh Hamilton, who has 34 homers, setting a personal single-season high.
Garcia was relieved with two outs in the seventh for lefthander Boone Logan, called on to face the lefthanded-hitting Mitch Moreland. Garcia thrust his glove hand in the air in acknowledgment of the cheers, probably the loudest he's received in his 1 ½ seasons in the Bronx, just before stepping into the dugout.
"They really don't have a weak spot in their lineup,'' catcher Russell Martin said of the Rangers, "but we keep making pitches.''
The Yankees scored all of their runs in the third, with Nick Swisher getting an RBI double, Curtis Granderson hitting a sacrifice fly and Eric Chavez adding an RBI single, the start of a 3-for-3 night for the third baseman. Chavez is hitting .514 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 11 games since July 30. Much of that stretch has encompassed the time Alex Rodriguez has been on the disabled list.
"I've never felt like I had to replace Alex,'' Chavez said. "Just doing my job when Joe puts me out there.''
Of his torrid stretch, Chavez smiled. "I'm not going to stay this hot the whole season,'' he said. "So I'm just enjoying it while I can.''
Notes & quotes:Robinson Cano was a late scratch with a stiff neck but Girardi said he's not overly concerned about his second baseman. "We tried to see if we could get him ready to play,'' Girardi said. "Hopefully he'll be ready to play [today], if not we'll give him one more day and he's day-by-day.'' . . . Rodriguez (left fifth metacarpal fracture) walked through the clubhouse without a brace on his left hand. "It was good,'' A-Rod said of the X-ray he underwent Tuesday night. "We have another one Sunday and after that one we'll have news.''