NEW YORK (AP) — The Texas Rangers started a rusty rookie who hadn’t worked in three weeks. They ended the game with a guy on the mound who threw 99 pitches two days ago and then a bullpen Tuesday afternoon.
Chase Headley came through with a storybook swing at the stroke of midnight in his Yankees debut, hitting a game-winning single in the 14th inning off Nick Tepesch to give New York a 2-1 victory Tuesday night.
“That was painful, especially when you play forever,” Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “We got that game a couple of times, but they were like us, they didn’t give up until the last second.”
Derek Jeter broke Lou Gehrig’s franchise record for doubles, and the Yankees won an unlikely pitching duel after rookie starters Chase Whitley and Nick Martinez both entered with a 5.10 ERA.
J.P. Arencibia snapped a scoreless tie with a leadoff homer in the 13th against New York reliever David Huff, but the Yankees responded with Brett Gardner’s leadoff double and Jacoby Ellsbury’s tying single off closer Joakim Soria in the bottom half.
It was Soria’s second blown save in 19 chances. He kept Texas in it by getting Brian McCann to ground into an inning-ending double play with runners at the corners.
Most seats were empty by the time Brian Roberts doubled with one out in the 14th off Tepesch (3-6), who tossed 4 1-3 innings during Sunday’s start in Toronto. Roberts was held at third on Francisco Cervelli’s single before Headley looped a single to left-center just as the clock struck midnight.
“They asked if I could throw and I felt like I could,” Tepesch said, adding he should be ready to make his next scheduled start Friday night against Oakland. “If I didn’t feel like I could do it, I wouldn’t have said I could.”
Headley raised one arm as he ran to first and was soon mobbed by his happy new teammates. He was doused with a sports drink by Gardner during a postgame television interview.
Headley was acquired from San Diego in an afternoon trade. The third baseman arrived right around game time and came off the bench in the eighth inning. He finished 1 for 4.
“A little chaotic. Awesome, though,” Headley said. “Mixed emotions, but I couldn’t be happier.”
Jeff Francis (1-1) worked a scoreless inning to win his Yankees debut in a game that took 4 hours, 51 minutes.
The last-place Rangers stranded 18 runners, their most since April 16, 2008, at Toronto. They have lost 25 of their last 30 games.
“We didn’t give in. We didn’t give up,” manager Ron Washington said. “We didn’t give them the game. They beat us.”
Reinstated from the disabled list before the game and pitching two weeks before his 24th birthday, Martinez retired 12 in a row after giving up two singles in the first. The streak was snapped by Roberts’ two-out single in the fifth, and Martinez was pulled after a one-out walk in the sixth.
The right-hander had been sidelined since July 2 with discomfort on his left side. He was injured taking batting practice, and is 0-5 in eight starts since his only major league win May 24 in Detroit.
Martinez went to nearby Fordham in the Bronx and left tickets for 15 former college teammates and two coaches. He thought his cheering section totaled about 40-45 in all.
“My family came. My girlfriend’s family came. So it was a good turnout for me,” Martinez said. “It was very cool. It was awesome.”
“I kind of sat on the bench a little bit before I had to go and do my active warmup. Just soaking it all in, and I had a lot of fun out there,” he added.
The clubs combined to use 17 pitchers. Minus ailing slugger Mark Teixeira, the Yankees were held scoreless for 17 straight innings by a team with the highest ERA in the American League by half a run.
Jeter hit his 535th double in the ninth, snapping a tie with Gehrig. Carlos Beltran grounded into an inning-ending double play against Neal Cotts.
New York eventually earned its third walk-off win this season – and second in three days. The team said Headley became the first player to get a game-ending hit in his Yankees debut since Roy Weatherly against the Washington Senators on April 22, 1943, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.
NOTES: Rangers RF Alex Rios missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle, but Washington hopes Rios will be able to play Wednesday night. Rios ran before the game and was scheduled to go through a full workout during batting practice. … Rangers C Geovany Soto went on the 15-day DL with a strained right groin, less than a week after he returned from right knee surgery that had kept him out all season. … OF-DH Jake Smolinski sat out with a bruised left foot.