NEW YORK — Undefeated Matt Harrison and Texas tied an AL record by turning six double plays and the Rangers picked up where they left off last October, beating the New York Yankees, 5-3, Friday night.
The teams played for the first time since Texas battered the Yankees to win last year’s AL championship series in six games. The Rangers won this time with pitching, thanks to Harrison (3-0) and his sure-handed fielders on a chilly, windy evening.
Texas turned double plays on grounders by the first six hitters in the New York lineup — Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones and Nick Swisher.
This was the 15th time an AL team made six DPs in a game. The major league mark for double plays in a game is seven by San Francisco in 1969.
Harrison, left off Texas’ postseason roster last year, gave up two runs and seven hits in eight innings. The 25-year-old lefty has pitched at least seven innings in every start this season, having previously beaten Boston and Baltimore.
Harrison stayed in control despite moving up a day in the Rangers rotation. Colby Lewis’ spot was skipped after the birth of his daughter this week, and he became the first player to go on Major League Baseball’s new paternity leave list.
Even when the Yankees threatened in the eighth, with Curtis Granderson homering and Jeter following with a single, Texas manager Ron Washington stuck with Harrison. It worked, too, as Swisher promptly bounced into the final DP.
Harrison has the best run support of any pitcher with at least 30 starts since the beginning of the 2008 season — over seven runs per game.