NEW YORK (AP) - Nick Swisher and the New York Yankees bounced into so many double plays, they lost count.
Lefty Matt Harrison and Texas turned an AL record-tying six DPs and the Rangers picked up where they left off last October, beating the Yankees 5-3 Friday night.
The first six hitters in the New York lineup grounded into double plays - Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones and Swisher.
``It's not enjoyable to watch double plays,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Girardi actually thought the Rangers made even more. When someone mentioned to him that Texas had six, he corrected the questioner.
``Seven, right?' he said.
Swisher, too, thought the total was seven. Either way, Harrison induced the most ever by a Yankees team.
``If you have that many, he's doing something right. You're making good pitches when you have to,' Girardi said.
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.
While Harrison stayed in control, Ivan Nova (1-1) pitched like the 24-year-old rookie he is. Whether it was the Texas lineup or the weather, he was all over the place. Nova gave up five runs on four hits and five walks in 4 1-3 innings.
``I think I can pitch. I know I can throw strikes and build on what I did in spring training,' Nova said.
The one real bright spot for Yankees: Lance Pendleton.
Promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre earlier in the day, made his major league debut in the seventh and pitched three perfect innings. He began his career by striking out Elvis Andrus and Michael Young.
Jeter gave Pendleton a fist-bump on the field after he pitched the seventh. Before the eighth, pitching coach Larry Rothschild told him: ``Son, keep going at them. Maybe you can sneak a win out of this.'
The 27-year-old righty was summoned at 3:10 p.m. after pitcher Phil Hughes was put on the 15-day disabled list with a tired arm. Pendleton packed a suitcase, found someone to take care of his dog and then quickly drove with his wife and son from Scranton to Yankee Stadium.
``I didn't have an opportunity to think too much,' Pendleton said. ``I definitely can appreciate it. It was neat having the crowd behind me.'
``Maybe we can stick around for a few days, that would be nice,' he said.
The gametime temperature was 47 degrees, but the winds made it feel much worse. That may've contributed to a most messy inning in the Texas fifth. The Rangers took advantage of three walks, three wild pitches and a hit batter to score three times off Nova and reliever David Robertson for 5-1 lead.
Harrison twice grabbed grounders and started DPs. Andrus saved him once at shortstop, jumping high to catch Harrison's throw before making the relay. Second baseman Ian Kinsler started a trio of DPs and third baseman Adrian Beltre began the other one.
``Can't say enough about the defense,' Harrison said. ``It's huge.'
Told that Texas tied a record, Andrus smiled. ``Really?' he said.
Andrus took part in five of them. That's the way he likes things - strikeouts and flyballs, he said, can be boring.
``You want some groundballs,' Andrus said. ``You want some action.'
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.
Even when the Yankees threatened in the eighth, with Curtis Granderson homering and Jeter following with a single, Washington stuck with Harrison. Swisher promptly bounced into the final DP.
Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his fifth save. Pinch-hitter Eric Chavez had an RBI single with two outs and Jorge Posada followed with a walk, but Russell Martin hit a routine flyball to end it.
NOTES: Texas tied a team record for DPs. The Yankees set a club mark for hitting into the most. ... Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland matched the AL record by taking part in all six double plays. ... Cleveland was the last AL team to have six DPs, in 2009. Of the 15 times an AL team has turned six DPs, three have come in extra innings. ... The Yankees made one DP. The major league record for combined double plays in a game is nine.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved