MLB: Chapman closes Yankees’ 5-3 win over Rangers amid storm
By Charles O’Brien
NEW YORK — Somehow, Aroldis Chapman was able to prevent this game from slipping away.
Rain pouring off his hat, the New York Yankees closer struck out Jurickson Profar with the bases loaded in a steady storm to end it, preserving a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
“You concentrate on the catcher, you try to keep your hand as dry as possible, you try to keep the ball as dry as possible and you want to make sure you land firmly,” Chapman said through a translator. “At the end of day, look at the catcher and hit the target.”
Rookie Miguel Andujar hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning and Yankees newcomer Lance Lynn turned in another strong start. New York has won five of six.
Chapman took over to begin the ninth and the Rangers tried to rally with a walk and a single. With home plate beginning to turn into a puddle, Chapman hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch to load the bases with two outs. The hard-throwing lefty has struggled with his command of late, allowing three runs with five walks over his previous two appearances.
“Almost every single ball I was throwing back to him was soaked,” catcher Kyle Higashioka said. “I can’t imagine him throwing strikes at 100 mph. It was pretty incredible.”
After falling behind Profar in the count 3-1, Chapman then came back to get him to swing through a 98 mph fastball to secure his 30th save in 32 chances.
“It’s not always going to be easy,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “We did a lot of good things today and found a way to win a game when it was hard. A good win considering the conditions.”
On June 27, 2016, in fact, Chapman was called on to protect a one-run lead against Texas amid steady showers. On a slippery mound, he walked the leadoff hitter and soon there was a delay of more than 3 1/2 hours in a game New York ultimately lost.
Profar also struck out with runners on second and third to end the seventh. Texas had tied it at 3 earlier that inning after recently acquired reliever Zach Britton was again shaky.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his 29th home run, connecting for the fourth time in five games for the Yankees.
Stanton singled off Chris Martin (1-3) in the seventh and Andujar hit his 17th home run. Andujar leads all rookies with 56 RBIs.
Greg Bird, who began the day in a 4-for-40 slump, had two doubles for the Yankees.
A day after becoming the first rookie to hit three home runs in a game against the Yankees, Ronald Guzman went 0 for 2 with two walks. Shin-Soo Choo had three hits and scored twice for Texas.
Lynn allowed one run in five innings and struck out eight.
Britton, dealt from Baltimore to the Yankees shortly before the trade deadline, walked home a run in the seventh and was pulled. Dellin Betances (3-3) balked home the tying run.
Britton has allowed five runs on six hits and six walks in 6 1/3 innings since joining New York.
Making his second start with his new team, Drew Hutchison gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
• Rangers: OF Nomar Mazara (right thumb sprain) went 0 for 4 Friday night as the designated hitter for Triple-A Round Rock. Manager Jeff Banister is hopeful to see Mazara play consecutive nine-inning games in the field before being activated. Mazara logged five innings in right in his fist rehab game on Aug. 9.
In a matchup of left-handers, Texas’ Martin Perez (2-4, 6.15 ERA) takes on CC Sabathia (6-4, 3.49 ERA) in the series finale. Perez has posted allowed 12 earned runs in 12 2-3 career innings against New York, despite a 2-1 record, while Sabathia looks for his 12th career victory over the Rangers.
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