NEW YORK (AP) – Alexi Ogando can’t catch a break in the Bronx.
Brett Gardner’s accidental, checked-swing RBI single was the first of five two-out runs in the second inning of the New York Yankees’ 12-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
“I felt it was a good pitch. It just didn’t work out,” Ogando said through a translator. “It just seems like the worst two days have been here.”
Ogando (7-1) was trying to match Tommy Hunter’s club record for a starter of eight wins without a loss to begin a season, set in 2010.
Instead, Ogando, a converted reliever, got just five outs in the shortest outing of his first season as a starter — he had not gone less than six innings in any of his 12 previous starts.
“It just wasn’t his night,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He was all over the zone. He didn’t get a chance to use his breaking ball or his curveball, he kept falling behind.”
Alex Rodriguez led off the second with a single and, after an out, Jorge Posada doubled and Nick Swisher walked to load the bases. Eduardo Nunez, filling in for an injured Derek Jeter, lined a single to left for the first run.
Jeter gestured with his hand toward Nunez at first base and smiled from the dugout, where he’ll be watching until at least June 29. Injured in the fifth inning Monday night, Jeter remains six hits shy of 3,000.
“He’s an exciting young player that has a lot of speed,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Nunez. “He can do some things.”
Francisco Cervelli, playing for Russell Martin — who has missed six of seven games with a stiff back — struck out. Gardner followed with a checked-swing liner down the left-field line for an RBI single. It was the first of nine runs the Yankees scored with two outs.
“Gardner’s ball hurt the most,” Washington said. “He catches it on a pitch he didn’t want to swing at and puts it into left field.”
Curtis Granderson hit his two-run single and Teixeira finished Ogando’s night with a double that scored two to make it 6-0.
Ogando didn’t fare much better in his start at Yankee Stadium on April 17, allowing five runs in 6 1-3 innings.
The right-hander has allowed 11 runs in eight innings (12.38 ERA) against the Yankees and 14 runs in 75 innings (1.68 ERA) when facing the rest of baseball.
Granderson homered and drove in four runs, and Robinson Cano and Swisher also connected in the Yankees’ first game since Jeter was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time since 2003 because of a strained right calf.
Gardner scored three of the four times he reached base, had an RBI single among three hits and stole his 100th base batting in Jeter’s leadoff spot. Rodriguez hit a two-run double for an efficient offense that scored 12 runs on 14 hits, two walks and a hit batter.
Granderson singled in two runs and Mark Teixeira had a two-run double in the second when New York batted around and knocked out Ogando.
CC Sabathia (8-4) pitched seven effective innings in helping the Yankees (5-2) secure the season series against the team that beat them in the AL championship series last October with two games remaining.
Sabathia was perfect for the first three innings but the Rangers went 6 for 9 with four runs scored the second time through. He gave up eight hits and four runs overall. He struck out six without walking a batter.
Michael Young had a two-run single in the fourth. Craig Gentry and Elvis Andrus, back in the lineup after being pulled for a pinch-hitter Sunday for lackadaisical play, both had an RBI in the fifth.
“We just tried to chip away to get ourselves back in it,” Young said.
Swisher homered in the third, Rodriguez hit a two-run double in the fourth, and Granderson and Cano connected in the sixth.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)