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Ogando Not Quite So Untouchable

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    All three Yankees homers came off Alexi Ogando, who allowed just four hits over 13 shutout innings in his previous two starts this season.

    Eric Chavez, filling in for an ailing Alex Rodriguez, singled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees hit three homers off previously untouchable Alexi Ogando to beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 on Sunday night.

    Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all went deep to help the Yankees take two of three in an early rematch of last year's AL championship series, which Texas won in six games to capture its first pennant.

    Adrian Beltre homered, doubled and drove in four runs for the Rangers, who have dropped four of five since opening the season 9-1. Missing injured AL MVP Josh Hamilton, they begin a 10-game homestand Monday night with a three-game series against the AL West rival Angels.

    Mark Teixeira drew a one-out walk from Arthur Rhodes (0-1) in the eighth and Nick Swisher singled with two outs. Chavez, in a lefty-on-lefty matchup, lined a single up the middle and Teixeira scored with a slide ahead of the looping throw from center fielder Julio Borbon.

    Rafael Soriano (1-0) pitched scoreless eighth for his first win with the Yankees and Mariano Rivera got three quick outs for his seventh save in seven chances.

    Rivera has saved or won each of New York's eight home victories this season.

    All three Yankees homers came off Ogando, who allowed just four hits over 13 shutout innings in his previous two starts this season. New York leads the majors with 27 home runs, a club record through 14 games.

    Ogando gave up five runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings. Going into the game, he had allowed two regular-season homers in 54 2-3 career innings.

    Rodriguez sat out because of stiffness in his lower back and side, but the Yankees flashed plenty of power at the plate in a back-and-forth game that went on uninterrupted through a pair of rain showers.

    In the fourth, bright lightning streaked across the sky and booming thunder clapped as fans scurried for cover from the rain on a 57-degree night.
    Joba Chamberlain relieved Yankees ace CC Sabathia in the seventh and immediately walked Ian Kinsler on four pitches. With two outs, Michael Young doubled over Swisher's head in right to tie it at 5. Chamberlain retired Beltre on a comebacker to end the inning.

    In the sixth, Derek Jeter hit a leadoff single and Granderson pulled a 1-1 pitch just inside the right-field foul pole. Jeter leaned left to give it some body english and when the drive stayed fair, New York had a 5-4 lead.

    Granderson also homered off Ogando in Game 5 of the ALCS last year, the only run that the skinny, long-limbed right-hander allowed in five postseason relief appearances.

    A converted outfielder, the 27-year-old Ogando excelled out of the bullpen last season and was only shifted to the starting rotation when Tommy Hunter strained his groin during the final week of spring training.

    Beltre hit a two-run shot on a high fastball in the first inning and an RBI single in the fourth, both with two strikes. His run-scoring double in the sixth put Texas up 4-3.

    Moments after right fielder Nelson Cruz made a diving catch of Jorge Posada's shallow fly, Martin turned on a 94 mph fastball and sent it into the left-field stands for his fourth homer. He hit five in 97 games last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Texas came right back with Young's leadoff single in the sixth and the RBI double by Beltre, who began the night 3 for 22 (.136) against Sabathia with seven strikeouts.

    Cano homered into the second deck in right leading off the second for the first run off Ogando this season after 14 scoreless innings. Cano also connected in his final at-bat Saturday, when the Yankees won 5-2.

    Rangers first base coach Gary Pettis was ejected by umpire Adrian Johnson for arguing a close call at the bag in the seventh.

    NOTES: Rangers RHP Brandon Webb had a 70-pitch bullpen session and is slated to throw batting practice Friday in Texas. The 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner is trying to come back from shoulder surgery that has prevented him from pitching in the majors since the 2009 opener for Arizona. He is on the disabled list after signing a $3 million, one-year contract with Texas in the offseason. ... RHP Colby Lewis is set to return Monday from baseball's new paternity leave list, so the Rangers will have to make a roster move. Lewis is scheduled to start Tuesday night against the Angels. ... New York manager Joe Girardi dropped slumping LF Brett Gardner to ninth in the batting order. Gardner had been hitting leadoff against right-handers. "I'm not saying this is a long-term thing. We're just trying to get him going," Girardi said. ... With struggling RHP Phil Hughes on the DL, veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon will make his first start for the Yankees on Wednesday night in Toronto. ... Yankees RHP Kevin Millwood allowed one hit in a seven-inning shutout for Double-A Trenton against Harrisburg. He struck out three and walked four. ... RHP Mark Prior, trying to make a comeback as a reliever, has moved from Class-A Tampa to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.