ARLINGTON, Texas – David Murphy's single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning off Mariano Rivera gave the AL West-leading Texas Rangers a 4-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night in an early August matchup of division leaders with a playoff-type atmosphere.
Murphy, who had a two-run homer in the game, was mobbed by his teammates after rounding first base with his game-winning hit.
Michael Young scored the winning run after leading off the 10th with an infield single off Rivera (3-2), when he beat Derek Jeter's throw after the shortstop made a backhanded stop deep in the hole. Josh Hamilton followed Young with a rolling single through the right side of the infield.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who hit career homer No. 601, made a run-saving defensive play with a diving stop of Vladimir Guerrero's grounder to throw him out while the runners advanced only a base. Nelson Cruz was intentionally walked to load the bases before Murphy hit a liner that dropped in right-center.
New York (69-43) still has the best record in baseball and Texas has by far the largest lead in any of baseball's six divisions. The Rangers (65-47) started the day with an eight-game lead over Oakland.
Murphy's two-run homer in the sixth had put the Rangers ahead 3-2 before Rodriguez homered leading off the eighth to tie it. Murphy threw a runner out at home plate, helped by a nice snag by catcher Bengie Molina.
Rookie closer Neftali Feliz (3-2), the fifth Texas reliever, pitched two scoreless innings in his first appearance since Thursday.
There was a crowd of 46,121 for a midweek game that began with a 98-degree temperature — and on the same night the Dallas Cowboys drew more than 21,000 fans for a free public practice at their stadium across the street.
Rodriguez led off the eighth with his 18th home run this season, a 409-foot shot onto the grassy hill in center field that tied the game 3-all. It was his 97th homer at Rangers Ballpark, his home for three seasons before getting traded to the Yankees before spring training in 2004.
Murphy's two-run shot in the sixth off A.J. Burnett was his third homer in a six-game hitting streak.
Nick Swisher had a two-out RBI double to tie the game 1-all in the fifth, but was thrown out by several steps trying to score on Marcus Thames' hit when Molina snagged the short-hopped throw from Murphy in left field.
Molina made the nifty catch, dropped to his knees and casually tagged an obviously surprised Swisher, who rolled to the ground after trying to get around and then got up smiling.
That wasn't the only defensive gem for the Rangers on a night when they tied a season-high with three errors.
Rangers starter C.J. Wilson fielded Jeter's high chopper on the run in the third inning and then dived headfirst into first base to tag the bag with his glove just before Jeter got there. Jeter tumbled over the pitcher without stomping on him.
Still, it was another short outing for Wilson. The left-hander allowed two runs with five strikeouts while throwing 96 pitches in 5 1-3 innings, six nights after going only three innings his previous start.
Wilson left with two on in the sixth, and reliever Darren O'Day gave up an RBI single to Francisco Cervelli that put the Yankees up 2-1.
Burnett struck out four and allowed three runs over seven innings.
Notes: Despite giving up the RBI single to the only batter he faced, O'Day was credited with his team-record 27th consecutive scoreless appearance. Jeff Zimmerman had 26 straight in 1999. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira was not in the lineup and won't even be in Texas for the two-game set. He remained home after the birth of his third child earlier Tuesday. ... A fan sitting in the first row near the Yankees dugout was hit by parts of Jeter's shattered bat in the seventh. He was tended to by medical personnel for what appeared to be a slight cut on his head, then put his cap back on and stayed for the rest of the game.