Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brett Gardner homered in the third and the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers, 2-1, in a contest that was called by rain in the fifth inning.
Both starting pitchers went the distance. David Phelps (5-4) surrendered five hits and fanned three to remain unbeaten (4-0) over his last eight starts. Yu Darvish (9-6) struck out five over 4 1/3 frames, but was called for a balk that tied the contest in the third inning.
The Yankees, who will go for the three-game sweep Thursday afternoon, have won five of their last six games.
The Rangers, losers in 12 of their last 14, got two hits from Leonys Martin. He scored the team's only run on a double-play groundout off the bat of Rougned Odor.
With one out in the home fifth, the rain came quick and hard, and it took the grounds crew about 15 minutes to get the tarp on the infield. Too much water on the tarp made it hard to pull and the infield was deluged with rain.
The delay started around 8:45 p.m. and players were called back on the field for a supposed 10:05 p.m. restart. Umpires, though, had a conversation with both managers. The Rangers, including Darvish, came back out to warm-up, but he walked off the field. Both managers expressed concern about the damp, soft field conditions.
"He told me one time he threw three games in one day," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Darvish. "Having to sit down and get back up, it doesn't affect him, but it affects us."
Players from both teams waited for about 20 minutes while umpires consulted off the field with the grounds crew. The forecast called for rain the rest of the night. When the rain started again, the tarp was brought back out and the game was called after an official delay of 1 hour, 49 minutes.
"We were planning on starting, but I thought it was important to walk the field," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Girardi said Washington told him, "This is a hamstring just waiting to be pulled."
Following the game, the Rangers, who have the worst record (40-61) in the majors, dealt closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers exchange for pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson.
Martin singled to start the third, and advanced two bases on a hit-and-run single to right from Chris Gimenez. Martin scored when Odor grounded into a 4-6-3 twin killing.
The Yankees scored twice in the bottom of the frame. Francisco Cervelli doubled to lead off, went to third on Brendan Ryan's groundout. Darvish was then called for a balk. Gardner followed by taking a 3-1 pitch over the wall in right. It was Gardner's 10th homer of the year, extending his career-high.
Martin tripled to right with one out in the fifth, but was left stranded when Gimenez fouled out and Odor fanned.
Cervelli doubled to begin the home fifth and with one out, the torrential rain and windy conditions began.
The Yankees placed infielder Kelly Johnson on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained left groin. The team also added bullpen depth on Wednesday by selecting the contract of pitcher Chris Leroux from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes- Barre ... Colby Lewis (6-7) starts for the Rangers Thursday, while Brandon McCarthy (1-0) gets the ball for the Yankees in the series finale.