Arlington, TX – Derek Jeter had four hits, two runs scored and an RBI as the New York Yankees downed the Texas Rangers, 7-4, in the first of three games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Alex Rodriguez added a three-run home run and Curtis Granderson knocked in a pair of runs for the Yankees, who earned their fourth straight win.
CC Sabathia (2-0) allowed four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out eight through eight innings for the win. Mariano Rivera closed the door in the ninth for his fourth save of the year.
Derek Holland (2-1) gave up seven runs on nine hits and four walks in six innings to suffer the loss.
Craig Gentry had two RBI as Texas lost for the second time in three games.
The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the first inning with an infield single by Jeter, a base hit by Robinson Cano and a walk by Rodriguez.
Mark Teixeira then went down swinging, but Granderson blooped a single into shallow center field to plate Jeter and Cano, giving New York an early two-run advantage.
The Rangers, though, got a run back in the bottom of the frame when Ian Kinsler led off with a single and moved to third on Elvis Andrus' base hit to right before crossing the plate when Josh Hamilton grounded into a double play.
After Texas failed to capitalize on a Nelson Cruz two-out double in the fourth inning, the Yankees added to their lead in the fifth when Chris Stewart walked to lead off the inning and then advanced to second when Mike Napoli missed a Holland pick-off throw to first.
Stewart moved to third on a Jeter base hit to left and came home on Nick Swisher's sacrifice fly to deep center field. Cano followed with a single to right before Rodriguez hammered a three-run homer over the left-center field wall to hand New York a 6-1 cushion.
Back-to-back doubles by Stewart and Jeter in the sixth increased the Yankees' margin.
The Rangers answered with a Hamilton solo shot into the bleachers in right- center field in the home sixth and a two-run double down the first-base line by Gentry in the seventh inning to close the gap to 7-4.
But Sabathia retired Kinsler and Andrus on consecutive ground outs to strand Gentry at second and needed just five pitches in a 1-2-3 eighth before Rivera tossed a perfect ninth inning to seal the win for the Yankees.
Prior to the game, Texas had a ceremony honoring catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who announced his retirement earlier Monday after 21 big league seasons. Rodriguez played with the Rangers from 1991-2002 and also at the end of the 2009 season...The Yankees have now hit a home run in eight straight games and in 12 of their last 13...Jeter increased his hit streak to 13 games...New York improved to 6-0 when scoring first in a game this season...Holland fell to 0-5 in six career starts against the Yankees.