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July 24, 2013

Wrapping up Rangers' 3-1 victory over Yankees

Matt Garza impressed in his Rangers debut Wednesday night. He allowed an unearned run on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

He got the win in the Rangers' 3-1 victory over the Yankees, and his new teammates were glad to see him succeed in his debut.

"Great outing," outfielder David Murphy said. "I loved the way he pounded the strike zone, worked quickly. It’s just great seeing him get his feet wet and hopefully there is more of that to come."

Said catcher Geovany Soto: "He threw the ball really well, but that’s him. I’ve seen him like that a lot. I’ve seen him like that lose a game, too, but that’s his game."

Said designated hitter A.J. Pierzynski: "That’s what we expected, that’s the guy you expect. I know that he is a competitor and wants the ball and wants to pitch in big games and that’s what you expect out of him. He went out and pitched the way we expect him to pitch."

Here are a few postgame notes:

* Matt Garza won his sixth straight start, becoming one of seven pitchers to accomplish that feat this season. He is 6-0 with a 1.06 ERA over those six starts. ... His 7 1/3 innings without an earned run was the longest start by a Texas starter without an earned run in their Rangers debut since John Burkett in 1996 (complete-game shutout on Aug. 11 at Toronto).

* A.J. Pierzynski continued to have success against Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte. Pierzynski went 2 for 3 and drove in the Rangers' first two runs with an RBI single in the first and a solo home run in the sixth. He is now 12 for 33 (.364) with six RBIs in his career against Pettitte.

"Andy is tough, obviously he’s got 250 wins for a reason," Pierzynski said. "He made a little bit of a mistake to me in that first at-bat, I was able to get us on the board which was nice because we haven’t scored a lot of runs in the first, and maybe relax Garza a little bit.

"And the home run was just luck. That ball was down, probably off the plate away, and just caught it with the barrel and luckily it back spun and it went far enough for me. That was just pure luck. … Lob wedge, I think."

* David Murphy added a key insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth off Shawn Kelley. It was his first homer since July 5, and he's 6 for his last 16. "I took a few bad swings and probably wasn’t the pitch he wanted to throw, but it was a fastball right down the middle," Murphy said. "Fortunately we were able to get a little bit more of a cushion, which after a night like last night, can be a big thing."

* The Rangers have won two of the first three games against the Yankees in this four-game series after they had lost seven of eight going into it.

Said Pierzynski: "It’d be nice to win tomorrow, that’d be better. You play to win the game, to quote Herm Edwards. It’s nice to win, especially at home. We’re behind [the A's in the AL West] so we’ve got to try to win every game and tonight helped."

-- Drew Davison

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