NEW YORK (AP) — Melky Cabrera hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees overcame yet another poor start by Chien-Ming Wang to beat the Texas Rangers 8-6 Thursday.
The Yankees rallied from a 5-1 deficit and took two of three from the AL West leaders.
It was another game of home run derby at the new Yankee Stadium. Johnny Damon started it with a leadoff shot for New York, Nelson Cruz finished Wang in the fifth with a long drive and Ian Kinsler's solo homer for Texas in the sixth made it 6-all.
David Robertson (1-0) threw one pitch and got the win, retiring Elvis Andrus on a fly ball to end the eighth.
Mariano Rivera worked the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances. With runners at the corners, he struck out Cruz and retired David Murphy on a popup to end it.
C.J. Wilson (3-3) relieved to begin the eighth and issued a leadoff walk to Robinson Cano. One out later, Cabrera launched a drive over Murphy's leap in left field.
Cabrera kept up his run of big hits and helped the Yankees win for the 17th time in 22 games. They did it despite Wang's wobbles.
Wang returned to the rotation and produced his best start of the season. Too bad for him, it was another stinker as his sinkers were either too high or too low.
Texas tagged him for five runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. Cruz chased him with a long home run — the first by a right-handed hitter off Wang in 22 starts, since Adrian Beltre connected in September 2007.
The former ace lost his first three starts of the season. He went on the disabled list with a 34.50 ERA because of weakness in the muscles in his hips and came back with three solid relief appearances.
Chris Davis doubled in the third and scored when Wang bounced a wild pitch several feet short of the plate. Davis delivered a two-run double in the fourth and Cruz hit his 16th homer — and ninth in 15 games — for a 5-1 lead in the fifth.
After Damon homered, Texas' Brandon McCarthy avoided further trouble until the fifth.
Francisco Cervelli and Ramiro Pena opened with soft singles, and walks to Damon and Nick Swisher forced home a run. Mark Teixeira followed with cue shot down the third-base line for a three-run double that made it 5-all, and he laughed at his good fortune while Jason Jennings trotted in from the bullpen.
Alex Rodriguez greeted the reliever with a single that bounced to the right-field wall for a 6-5 lead.
Notes:@ There has been a home run in all 26 games at the new Yankee Stadium. ... New York SS Derek Jeter got a day off to rest. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Phil Hughes is the team's "sixth starter" right now. The righty was sent to the bullpen to make room for Wang, but Girardi expects Hughes to start again sometime this season. ... Rangers radio play-by-play man Eric Nadel had surgery in New York to repair two tears in the retina of his right eye. He called his 3,176th straight game Wednesday night. Nadel returned to Dallas. More surgery might be needed and it's uncertain when he'll return to the booth. He had not missed a game since 1989.
by the associated press