Bronx, NY – Ichiro Suzuki hit a solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the New York Yankees over the Texas Rangers, 4-3, in the opener of a three-game series.
Tanner Scheppers (5-1), who pitched a scoreless eighth, stayed on to pitch the ninth. After Brett Gardner was caught stealing for the second out, Suzuki smacked a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right.
"It's a great win for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Coming off an off day and being able to beat a pretty great pitcher. I think it's a pretty big win."
Gardner, Jayson Nix and Travis Hafner also hit solo homers for the Yankees, who have won three of four.
New York starter Hiroki Kuroda allowed three runs -- two earned -- on five hits while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings. Mariano Rivera (1-1) tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up the win.
Leonys Martin hit a pair of solo homers for the Rangers, who had a five-game winning streak snapped. Mitch Moreland added an RBI.
Texas starter Yu Darvish gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out six over 5 1/3 innings.
"They swung the bat to beat us," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "You hate to loss a ball game. They beat us with four swings of the bat, four solo home runs."
The Yankees wasted a golden scoring opportunity in the first inning. With one out, Suzuki, Robinson Cano and Hafner hit three straight singles to load the bases. Darvish, however, settled down and caught Lyle Overbay looking at strike three before getting Zoilo Almonte to ground out.
Martin extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a homer to right in the third.
Texas tacked on another run in the fourth. Adrian Beltre reached first on third baseman David Adams' throwing error prior to consecutive singles from A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman. Moreland stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and knocked in a run on a fielder's choice.
New York cut the gap to 2-1 on Hafner's homer in the bottom half of the fourth.
Martin responded with his second homer of the game in the fifth. Gardner answered in the bottom half of the fifth with a homer of his own. The Yankees went on to strand runners on the corners.
Nix joined the home run party in the sixth, making it a 3-3 contest.
David Robertson tossed a scoreless eighth for New York.
Tuesday's game marked the 11th matchup of Japanese starting pitchers in major league history, and the fourth involving Kuroda ... It was the first multi- homer game of Martin's career ... New York went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight, while Texas went 1-for-3 with RISP and left five men on base... The Yankees improved to 4-3 on a nine-game homestand.