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Yankees go on muscle, give Rangers a beatdown

Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu follows through on

Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu follows through on a two-run double as Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim looks on in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, May 18, 2021.  Credit: AP/Tony Gutierrez

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Yankees did Tuesday night what they’ve failed to consistently do much of this season.

Beat up on bad pitching.

A night after being mostly held in check by the underwhelming Jordan Lyles, the Yankees were on the same track against another pitcher fitting that category, Mike Foltynewicz, who came in with overall unimpressive numbers, not the least of which was having allowed 11 homers, tied for the most in the majors.

But trailing by three runs after three innings, the Yankees sent 10 to the plate in the fourth, erupting for five runs that helped send them to a 7-4 victory over the Rangers in front of 26,522 at Globe Life Field.

"Seems like everyone had a good at-bat that inning," said DJ LeMahieu, whose two-run double in the inning made it 5-3. "After they [scored] three [in the third], for us to come back and put five up the way we did, I thought it tells a lot about our offense. Everyone swung it well today. That’s kind of what we’re made of and what we expect."

The Yankees (23-19) had 13 hits, two each by Aaron Judge, Rougned Odor, Miguel Andujar and Mike Ford. Odor, who spent the first seven years of his big-league career with the Rangers (19-25) before being acquired by the Yankees in April, returned from the injured list earlier in the day. In addition to his two hits, Odor played a terrific game in the field, most memorably a sliding stop on a hot shot by Isiah Kiner-Falefa to start an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

The one potentially down note from the evening was Gary Sanchez, whose RBI double was part of the game-turning fourth, was replaced on defense in the bottom of the sixth by Kyle Higashioka. The Yankees announced it as "cramping in his left hamstring."

"By the end of the game I think he was fine," Aaron Boone said. "I think we’re good there."

Jameson Taillon, 1-3 with a 5.73 ERA, including 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA in three road starts, was not sharp a second straight outing as he allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings.Many a day or night in 2021, that would have been enough to get his team beat, but not this one.

Foltynewicz, 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA, took a 3-0 lead into the fourth, an inning the righthander would not finish.

Judge improved to 14 for his last 29 with a one-out single and Gio Urshela improved to 16 for his last 46 with an RBI double into the corner in left to make it 3-1. Sanchez followed by ripping a double to left to make it 3-2. Andujar, just 3-for-26 to start his season, lined a single to left to tie it at 3. After Ford, 4-for-45 to that point, singled and Ryan LeMarre worked an eight-pitch walk, Foltynewicz’s night was mercifully done as lefty Kolby Allard came on. LeMahieu greeted him by slicing a two-run double down the rightfield line. The hit improved LeMahieu to 14-for-27 as a Yankee with the bases loaded.

Taillon, after an eight-pitch bottom half that left him at 72 pitches through four, allowed a one-out homer to Nick Solak, a former Yankees farmhand, to make it 5-4, ending Taillon’s night. Wandy Peralta, Jonathan Loaisiga and Chad Green got the ball to Aroldis Chapman, now with a 7-4 lead after a sac fly by LeMahieu in the sixth and an Urshela RBI in the ninth, to close it. Chapman struck out three, working around a two-out double, to go 10-for-10 in saves, with 34 strikeouts in 16 innings.

Still, the story this night was the five-run fourth, a rare kind of inning so far this season.

"Huge," Taillon called it. "As a starter, you put the team in a three-run hole there, that’s tough to battle back from. It was nice they picked me up and we were able to get a win."

New York Sports