ARLINGTON, Texas — Derek Jeter is hitting the way he did in his prime and CC Sabathia looks more like his old self with each outing.
No wonder the New York Yankees are starting to get on a roll.
Jeter had four hits to stretch his hitting streak to 13 games, Sabathia pitched a season-high eight innings and Alex Rodriguez belted a three-run homer in a 7-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.
“I keep kidding him that it’s like 1999 again — three hits every day. He’s amazing,” Rodriguez said of the 37-year-old Jeter.
“He’s playing like he’s 25,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s off to a great start. He feels good physically and that’s the most important thing.”
The Yankees have won 10 out of 13 since being swept in three games at Tampa Bay to start the season.
Sabathia (2-0) struck out eight for his 11th career win against the two-time defending American League champion Rangers, who won their first five series this season.
The big left-hander was pitching with an extra day of rest after the Yankees’ scheduled series finale at Boston was rained out Sunday night, a day after New York overcame a 9-0 deficit for a 15-9 win over the Red Sox.
After a pair of six-inning outings with no-decisions to start the season, Sabathia has won his past two starts.
“That’s more CC-like. That’s what we’re used to seeing,” Girardi said. “I liked what I saw those last four innings against the Twins, and he carried it over today.”
Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
Josh Hamilton homered for the Rangers.
Derek Holland (2-1), the 25-year-old left-hander who signed a $28.5 million, five-year contract extension this spring, has never beaten the Yankees. He gave up seven runs and nine hits with four walks and one strikeout in six innings.
Holland is 0-5 with a 9.26 ERA in seven career appearances (six starts) against New York.
“He’s been very consistent. That’s a pretty good lineup,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “They do their business in that batter’s box. They pick their spots and make you pay. And they made us pay tonight.”
Rodriguez hit a three-run homer, his third this season and No. 632 in his career, in the fifth for a 6-1 lead. The Rangers hadn’t given up more than five runs in a game before that, and Jeter added an RBI double in the sixth.
“That’s a big three-run homer because it kind of breaks the game open a little bit,” Girardi said. “And we got a big two-out hit from Curtis (Granderson) in the first.”