NEW YORK (AP) — Minus slugger Carlos Beltran most of the night, the inconsistent Yankees never posed much of a threat at the plate.
Cole Hamels breezed through seven shutout innings to win his fourth consecutive start, Adrian Beltre homered off CC Sabathia and drove in three runs, and the Texas Rangers trounced New York 7-1 Tuesday.
“This homestand has not went the way we wanted it so far and we need to turn it around,” manager Joe Girardi said following his team’s third straight defeat.
One night after Texas rallied to win at 2:44 a.m. following a 3 1/2-hour rain delay in the ninth inning, the Rangers played with more spunk and energy than New York. They’ve won four in a row and 20 of 25, improving the American League’s top record to 51-27 with their eighth straight victory away from home.
Beltran left in the first with a tight right hamstring. He had an MRI that was “clean” and is day to day, Girardi said.
“It’s just sore,” Beltran explained after the game. “Walking, I feel it, but the pain is less.”
The 39-year-old switch-hitter pulled a line drive into the left-field corner and broke well out of the batter’s box. But he pulled up with a single after rounding first and went back to the bag even when the ball initially eluded left fielder Ryan Rua.
Rob Refsnyder ran for Beltran and replaced him in right field as well.
“I felt a pull and also I felt like a knot in my hamstring,” Beltran said. “I was concerned honestly because what I felt, I have never had issue with my hamstrings like the way I felt it today, so I was hoping that it was nothing major.”
Beltran has been by far the best hitter in a struggling New York lineup this season. He is batting .297 with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs.
Hamels (9-1) yielded six harmless singles and struck out seven, winning his ninth consecutive decision on the road dating to last August. He is 16-2 since getting traded from Philadelphia to Texas last summer.
The left-hander threw only 86 pitches and beat the Yankees (37-39) for the first time in five career tries — including the 2009 World Series. He has a 0.65 ERA in his last four outings.
“He was as good as I’ve seen him and I’ve seen him a lot,” Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said.
Sabathia (5-5) pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in a year — but that’s when it all fell apart for him. Trailing 2-0, he nicked leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo on the hand with a pitch and was unable to corral Ian Desmond’s comebacker, which went for an infield single.
“Just a frustrating night,” Sabathia said. “If I can either make the play or get out of the way, I have a double play right there.”
Beltre’s bad-hop RBI single got past Headley at third, and Prince Fielder chased Sabathia with a run-scoring double that made it 4-0.
“I’m thinking triple play off the bat, or at least trying to, and it just took a right turn on me,” Headley said. “I wish I could have done something different. It’s unfortunate for CC because he threw the ball so well and ends up with some earned runs there that he doesn’t deserve.”
Pinch hitter Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar each added an RBI single against Anthony Swarzak to cap a five-run outburst that broke the game open.
“We should have been out of that inning with no runs,” Girardi said.
Sabathia, who twice rolled his right ankle during his previous start, was charged with six runs and eight hits in seven-plus innings.
Texas has won five straight games at Yankee Stadium for the first time.
Beltre, who got the go-ahead hit around 2:30 a.m. in the series opener, lofted a two-run homer in the first to the short porch in right field. Desmond and Beltre both finished with three hits.
New York optioned RHP Kirby Yates to Triple-A and recalled RHP Conor Mullee for his second stint with the big club this season. Yates blew a 6-5 lead after the long delay Monday night, hitting three batters with pitches in the ninth inning.
Minor league right-hander James Kaprielian, selected 16th overall by the Yankees in the 2015 amateur draft out of UCLA, has been sidelined since late April with elbow inflammation. He was examined Tuesday by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and an MRI revealed a flexor tendon strain. Kaprielian also will be evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache within the next week, the team said.
Rangers RHP Nick Martinez (1-1, 5.54 ERA) faces RHP Masahiro Tanaka (5-2, 3.01) in the third game of the four-game series Wednesday night. The 25-year-old Martinez went to college in the Bronx at nearby Fordham and is 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts at Yankee Stadium.