ARLINGTON -- For a moment, Ian Kinsler just slumped in his chair in front of his locker with his tongue hanging out and his eyes in a mock glaze. "That was a long one," Kinsler said with a sly smile and just a bit of excess mock weariness. "A long one, but it was worth it to get the win." Michael Young, also slumped in his chair almost six hours after the game was scheduled to begin, felt the same way. The Rangers had finally held off the New York Yankees for a 7-3 victory on Tuesday night, and they were just glad they got the game in, got it over with and came away with a victory.
The night started with a two-hour, 24-minute rain delay even though it wasn't raining. The Rangers delayed the start because of the threat of severe rain that did indeed hit the Ballpark one hour after the scheduled start. The whole thing made for a long and weary night. "Pretty tired," Young said. "Pretty tired. I'm probably more tired being confused about having a rain delay with no rain. But it was probably a good call. I'm glad we got it in." The victory, coming one night after the Rangers had been clobbered, 11-1, by the Yankees, was still their 11th win in their last 15 games and left them with a four-game lead in the American League West. "We pretty much filed [Monday] away," Young said. "We're a confident group and we know we're a good club. Yesterday was over. They whipped us. We just made sure we came back with a better effort." Chris Davis might have been happier than anybody that the game was played. He came into the game in a 1-for-29 slump and struck out in his first at-bat. But he ended up going deep twice for the first multihomer game of his career. It was also the first time he has homered since a walk-off home run against the Mariners on May 14. "I definitely think it picked me up," Davis said. "I've said over and over the last few weeks have been tough. It's good to have a game that might help me turn the corner. I'm not anywhere where I need to be but I am getting closer." The home runs were big, but the Rangers' offense did not win this one with the long ball. They won this one with big two-out hits and some old-fashioned offensive execution at the right time. They won because they worked Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain hard early and forced him out of the game by making him throw 84 pitches in four innings. They also won because their pitchers -- for the most part -- were able to keep the Yankees from doing the same thing. "We did a great job of executing," manager Ron Washington said. "We played baseball the way it was presented to us, and that's what it's all about." Marlon Byrd had the first big two-out hit with a bases-loaded two-run single in the first to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead against Chamberlain. Davis made it 3-0 in the fourth with his first home run of the night, but the Yankees roared back to tie it on a home run by Mark Teixeira in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth. That's when the Rangers (27-18) struck back with the theme of the night. They regained the lead in the sixth with a one-out double by Byrd and a two-out RBI single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Then, in the seventh, they added two more after Kinsler singled and Young doubled to start the inning. Josh Hamilton's grounder to short scored one run and David Murphy's sacrifice fly brought home another. "We played some baseball at the end of the game," Washington said. Davis added his second home run of the night in the eighth inning, the Rangers' ninth hit of the night. They were four short of what the Yankees' offense accumulated. New York finished with 13 hits, four walks and one hit batter. The Bombers had at least one hit in every inning and at least two baserunners in six of nine innings. They added to the offensive pressure by stealing five bases. But Texas starter Kevin Millwood and relievers Jason Jennings, C.J. Wilson, Darren O'Day and Frank Francisco limited the damage for the most part by holding New York to 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The Yankees (26-20) left 12 runners on base and the Rangers turned three double plays behind them. "I thought we hit some balls hard," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I thought we had good at-bats, but I thought we swung the bats pretty well -- we just didn't get the one big hit." Jennings (2-1) picked up the win in relief of Millwood, who lasted just 5 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. "I definitely was ready to go get started, and then there was the rain delay," Millwood said. "Once the game started, I felt normal. They didn't really chase anything. I didn't feel I was that sharp tonight." Nobody in the Rangers' clubhouse felt sharp when it was over. But they were victorious, and that made it all worth it.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.