ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Elvis Andrus had the game-winning RBI triple for the Texas Rangers on a night when their shortstop from more than a decade ago hit his 100th homer in the stadium.
The Rangers have had two shortstops, both All-Stars, since Alex Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees before spring training in 2004 — Michael Young, and now 27-year-old Andrus, who is off to a tremendous start in his eighth season hitting .343 and without an error in the field since one in the season opener.
Andrus’ two-out triple in the sixth broke the tie created by A-Rod’s 100th homer in Texas, and the Rangers beat New York 3-2 on Wednesday night.
“His work, his preparation has been outstanding, his focus has been great,” manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s been as good as we can ask him to be at the bottom part of that lineup.”
After Rougned Odor drew a two-out walk off CC Sabathia (1-2) in the sixth, Andrus hit a ball into the right-center field gap that rolled to the wall.
Martin Perez (1-2) struck out three while allowing two runs and six hits over six innings. The Rangers had lost each of the first four games started by the left-hander.
“He made pitches when he needed to,” catcher Bryan Holaday said. “He was able to use that sinker down and away. … When we pitched off that, we were able to use his secondary stuff and get some swings and misses.”
Rodriguez didn’t miss on a changeup left over the middle of the plate, hitting it over the 14-foot wall in left-center field for his third homer this season and 690th of his career. That tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth.
After Jake Diekman threw two scoreless innings, Shawn Tolleson worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.
A-Rod was back in New York’s lineup after missing the first two games in Texas. The 40-year-old Rodriguez came out of Sunday’s home game for the Yankees because of stiffness in his left side after an earlier double snapped a 1-for-18 slide. He went 3 for 3 with a walk Wednesday to raise his average 45 points to .190.
“It’s a long season and (I’m) a work in progress. I’m always tweaking and working on things and I’m just trying to find the cadence that I had last year,” A-Rod said. “The last week or so has been a little better.”
He hit 86 at home for Texas from 2001-03 and has 14 more in 65 games as a visitor there — first with Seattle before his big deal with the Rangers, and after being traded to the Yankees.
Along with the 124 homers he hit in old Yankee Stadium (as a visitor and with the home team through 2008), and the 100 in Arlington, A-Rod is the only active player with at least 100 home runs in two different stadiums, according to STATS.
Rodriguez also has 100 homers in Seattle, home of his original MLB team, but 60 of those were in the Kingdome and 40 more at Safeco Field since. He has 71 homers at home since the new Yankee Stadium opened in 2009.
“He’s a special player,” Banister said. “Has been.”
The Rangers tied the game when scoring on an unusual 1-3-2-5 double play in the second inning. With runners at second and third, Hanser Alberto hit a comebacker. Sabathia fielded the ball, glanced at Ryan Rua coming off third base and then threw to first base for the out. Rua took off home, and scored ahead of the return throw to the plate. Catcher Brian McCann then threw to third. Odor slid in headfirst ahead of the ball, but was unable to keep hold of the bag and was tagged out by third baseman Chase Headley to end the inning.
Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks missed his fifth consecutive game because of left shoulder bursitis.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels, who skipped his turn in the rotation Monday because of a groin strain, threw another bullpen session Wednesday. He said all went well and will start Sunday vs. the Angels. … RHP Yu Darvish is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday for Double-A Frisco, his first game since Tommy John surgery on March 17, 2015.
Yankees: After their first off day in 10 days on Thursday, the Yankees open a three-game weekend series at Boston on Friday night.
Rangers: Texas has an off day before a series opener at home Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels.