Mark Teixeira sparked the Yankees with a takeout slide at second base after being hit with pitches twice, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada hit three-run homers and New York beat the Texas Rangers 12-3 Tuesday night to take over best record in the American League.
Derek Jeter became the fourth active player with 1,500 runs -- and just the fourth in Yankees history -- when Teixeira sent rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus tumbling on Alex Rodriguez's fourth-inning grounder. A-Rod beat out the relay to avoid an inning-ending double play as Jeter scored for a 4-3 lead, keeping alive what would turn into a seven-run inning.
Robinson Cano chased Vicente Padilla (3-3), making his first start after a stint on the disabled list, with an RBI single and Posada followed with another run-scoring single off Derek Holland.
Matsui then homered over the fence in right-center for a 9-3 lead -- he also homered off Holland last week in Texas.
Posada homered against Warner Madrigal in the sixth as the Yankees (31-21) defeated Texas (30-21) for the third time in four meetings this season and set a season high for runs. New York has won 16 of 20 to reach 10 games over .500, a mark the Yankees didn't achieve until their 100th game last year.
A.J. Burnett (4-2) beat Texas for the second time in a week, allowing three runs and eight hits in seven innings and striking out eight. He threw a pitch over the head of Nelson Cruz in the fifth that sent the cleanup hitter sprawling, prompting plate umpire Doug Eddings to warn both dugouts. Cruz had put the Rangers ahead 3-2 with a three-run homer in the third.
Sidelined since May 16 with a strained right shoulder, Padilla hit Teixeira on an arm in the second and on the buttocks in the fourth, just after Johnny Damon's RBI single had tied the score at 3-3. The forceout by Rodriguez, who had stranded five runners in his first two at-bats, allowed Jeter to join Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees with 1,500 runs. The only other active players to reach the mark are Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr, and Gary Sheffield.
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In a matchup between the top two home-run-hitting teams in the majors, the Yankees hit two to raise their total to 82, two behind the Rangers. There has been at least one homer in all 24 games at the Yankee Stadium, two more than San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium for the longest streak at the start of a big league ballpark. The 90 homers are one shy of the record for most in the first 24 games at a major league park, set at Houston's Enron Field in 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
New York's record-setting errorless streak ended at 18 games when catcher Jorge Posada threw the ball into center field on Andrus' fourth-inning steal of second base. Posada's error, which allowed Andrus to take third, was the Yankees' first since shortstop Ramiro Pena misplayed a grounder by the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista at Toronto on May 13.
New York broke the previous major league mark of 17 games, set by the Boston Red Sox from June 11-30, 2006.
"It was not something I was aware of until yesterday, so shame on me, I guess," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game. "Obviously there is going to be another error at some point, but I think the consistency of your defense can play the whole season. A lot of it is mental preparation, I believe, and physical preparation. Defense is one of those things that you can control, a lot better than maybe some of the other parts of the game."
Padilla gave up seven runs, seven hits and four walks in 3 2-3 innings, his ERA rising to 5.57. Before the game, Texas put All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton on the disabled list with an abdominal strain, an injury that will sideline him from two weeks to two months.
Notes:@ The Yankees' May 3 rainout at home against the Los Angeles Angels has been rescheduled for Sept. 14 at 7:05 p.m. ... New York OF Xavier Nady (elbow) made 40 throws in the outfield in his second day of his throwing program, and felt pain on just two, according to Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "It's much better today," said Nady, who is scheduled to take a day off before resuming Thursday. Infielder Cody Ransom (right quadriceps) is to start at rehab assignment Thursday with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. LHP Damaso Marte (left shoulder tendinitis) is to throw a bullpen session Friday.