ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Derek Jeter got more farewell gifts, and Brett Gardner hit another leadoff home run for the New York Yankees.
The struggling Texas Rangers won the game – and the series.
After Jeter got a surprise visit from former President George W. Bush in a pregame ceremony, Gardner led off with a homer for the second straight game before Texas got all of its runs in the bottom of the first and held on for a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.
`We seem to bring the best out of a lot of teams,” Jeter said. “Coming into the season, they had a lot of expectations. It probably hasn’t gone the way they wanted it to go, but they played better than us. They beat us. That’s the bottom line.”
Colby Lewis (7-8) gave up solo homers to Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury before retiring the last 13 batters he faced. Relievers Neal Cotts and Neftali Feliz each followed with a perfect inning.
Texas, which had lost seven straight series the past month before taking two of three against New York, quickly got to Hiroki Kuroda (7-7). Elvis Andrus had an RBI double and scored the tiebreaking run on a single by Adrian Beltre, who came home on Leonys Martin’s single.
“Although I gave up three runs in the first, I felt like I hung in there,” Kuroda, who made it through seven innings, said through his interpreter. “I didn’t feel strong all day, but again, I knew I had to hang in there and battle.”
Jeter was 0 for 4 in his final game in Texas.
After the Yankees captain was presented a pair of boots, a video was shown of Bush and Jeter when the former president threw the first pitch before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, just weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Bush then came out and presented the Yankees captain a framed signed picture of the two together that night nearly 13 years ago.
“I heard he was coming to the stadium but I didn’t know he was going to come out onto the field, so that’s pretty special feeling,” Jeter said. “When you have a president come out and give me something to honor, That’s definitely a memory I’ll have for a long time and get to brag to a lot of different people.”
DEEP GARDNER: Gardner homered four times in this series, including twice off Yu Darvish in the series-opening loss, after also going deep against Darvish last week in New York. His 14 homers are already six more than his career high last year.
Yankees: Second baseman Brian Roberts got his third game off in four days. Manager Joe Girardi said the 36-year-old is dealing with general soreness. Roberts has already played in 91 games this season, after averaging only 48 games the last four seasons with Baltimore.
Rangers: Left-hander Derek Holland, who had left knee surgery after getting tripped by his dog on the stairs at his home during the offseason, made his first rehab start for Double-A Frisco. He threw two scoreless innings without allowing a hit, throwing 21 of 33 pitches for strikes.
An off day Thursday for both teams. The Yankees go to Boston for the opener of a three-game series Friday night, when the Rangers start a nine-game trip with a series opener at Cleveland.
UP AND DOWN: For the second time in the series, the only Yankees runs came on two solo homers. In between those two losses, they won 12-11 on Tuesday night, scoring their most runs since April 24. “We have a big explosion yesterday and then we get the two solo shots today and that’s about it,” Girardi said.