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Rangers bring down Yankees

Kinsler has 2 HRs, bullpen leads way

Ian Kinsler’s three-run homer in the fourth inning helped Texas beat the Yankees in the Bronx and trim its deficit in the AL wild-card race. Ian Kinsler’s three-run homer in the fourth inning helped Texas beat the Yankees in the Bronx and trim its deficit in the AL wild-card race. (Ray Stubblebine/Reuters)
Associated Press / August 28, 2009

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Ian Kinsler and Chris Davis launched the loudest shots of the afternoon. The way Jason Grilli and his bullpen pals kept things quiet, that tilted this game to Texas.

Kinsler homered twice, a trio of relievers pitched shutout ball, and the Rangers became the first visitors to win a series at Yankee Stadium since mid-June, beating New York, 7-2, yesterday.

“This sends a statement that we can play with anyone out there,’’ Grilli said.

Davis also had a three-run homer for Texas, which took two of three from the team with the best record in the majors.

Grilli, C.J. Wilson, and Frank Francisco combined for 5 1/3 innings of two-hit relief. The Rangers remain in the thick of the pennant race, trying for their first playoff spot since 1999.

“We’re treading into territory we’ve never been in before,’’ Texas manager Ron Washington said.

Cut by Colorado this season and activated from the disabled list over the weekend, Grilli (2-2) entered in the fourth with Texas ahead, 3-2. He escaped a first-and-third jam by getting Alex Rodriguez on an easy comebacker and pitched 2 1/3 innings.

Grilli was aware he’d done well against Rodriguez - the Yankees’ cleanup man is 0 for 5 facing him.

A.J. Burnett (10-8) lost despite striking out a season-high 12 in six innings. Texas’s Dustin Nippert was pulled after walking seven in 3 2/3 innings.

Astros 4, Cardinals 3 - Jeff Keppinger hit a tiebreaking homer with two out in the ninth inning and visiting Houston rallied to beat St. Louis and avoid a three-game sweep.

Jose Valverde (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the Astros, who won for only the fifth time in their last 19 road games.

Mets 10, Marlins 3 - Tim Redding pitched 6 2/3 innings in Miami to give New York’s injury-ravaged staff a boost and help snap a five-game skid.

Redding (2-4), making his second start since July 2, allowed three runs - all on leadoff homers - and five hits.

Reds 8, Brewers 5 - Justin Lehr overcame a rocky start to pitch into the eighth and drew a key walk in Cincinnati’s five-run fifth, helping the Reds to victory in Milwaukee.

Lehr (3-1) struck out a career-high seven over 7 2/3 innings and Cincinnati matched its season-best winning streak at four. The Reds are 13-26 since the All-Star break.

Braves 9, Padres 1 - Javier Vazquez pitched seven scoreless innings, everyone in the Atlanta lineup contributed to a 17-hit attack, and the visiting Braves romped past San Diego.

Vazquez (11-9) snapped his first two-game losing streak of the season, allowing five hits, and went on cruise control after the Braves put up five runs in the second. He struck out six, didn’t walk anyone and threw only 88 pitches before turning it over to the bullpen.

Nationals 5, Cubs 4 - Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer and Adam Dunn added a solo shot, leading visiting Washington over reeling Chicago.

Catcher Josh Bard prevented a game-tying seventh-inning run with a superb defensive play to help the Nationals win a series at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2005.

Indians 5, Orioles 4 - Andy Marte hit a two-run homer on a 3-2 pitch from Jim Johnson with two outs in the ninth inning, giving Cleveland the victory in Baltimore.

Johnson (3-5) got the first two outs in the ninth before allowing a single to Matt LaPorta. After going 3-0 on Marte, the No. 9 hitter in the lineup, Johnson worked the count full before Marte hit a liner that barely cleared the 7-foot wall in left field.

Diamondbacks 11, Giants 0 - Mark Reynolds homered and drove in two runs in his return to Arizona’s lineup, Yusmeiro Petit snapped a personal three-game skid and the Diamondbacks ended a disappointing road trip with a win in San Francisco.

Dodgers 3, Rockies 2 - Vicente Padilla, who was jettisoned by Texas earlier this month after angering the Rangers by throwing at hitters, returned to the National League and pitched Los Angeles past Colorado in Denver.

Royals 8, Mariners 4 - Yuniesky Betancourt hit one of his new team’s four home runs in his return to Seattle and Kansas City powered past the host Mariners.

Athletics 2, Angels 0 - Rookie Trevor Cahill and two relievers combined on a three-hitter and Ryan Sweeney came within a double of hitting for the cycle, leading Oakland over host Los Angeles.

Pirates 3, Phillies 2 - Garrett Jones hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning against J.A. Happ, fellow rookie Andrew McCutchen also went deep, and last-place host Pittsburgh rallied for the second time in three nights to beat division-leading Philadelphia.

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