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Wang's back as Yanks beat Rangers

WANG Chien-ming, twice a 19-game winner for the Yankees, had mixed results in his return to the starting rotation on Thursday but was encouraged by his performance in New York's 8-6 win against the Texas Rangers.

Wang, who struggled earlier this year in coming back from foot surgery that ended his 2008 campaign, retired the first six batters he faced before yielding two runs in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth before exiting.

He threw 69 pitches, 47 for strikes, and gave up seven hits while walking one and striking out five.

"Today I threw a lot of sinkers and I felt comfortable," he told reporters. "I was very excited to be starting again."

Wang, 29, was put on the disabled list after three awful starts to begin the season and upon returning to the Yankees he pitched out of the bullpen until Thursday's outing.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he was encouraged and that Wang had some bad luck in allowing one run to score on a wild pitch when he slipped on the mound, and being burned by a bad-hop hit.

"I thought he threw the ball pretty decent," Girardi said. "I was happy with what I saw."

Girardi conceded Wang might have tired in the fifth when he left a sinker up to Nelson Cruz, who hammered it for a long home run that prompted the manager to remove him.

"It's going to take some time," Girardi added. "This is something we can continue to build on."

Rangers manager Ron Washington saw signs of the old Wang, whose bloated earned run average actually dropped to 14.46.

"It's not the Wang we're used to seeing," he allowed. "I'm sure there are some things that he is going to have to work on. But there were times when that good sinker was there and when he really threw the ball well over the plate."

Girardi said Wang remained on course for his next start against arch-rival Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

In other American League action, it was: Angels 6, Blue Jays 5; Twins 11, Indians 3; Red Sox 6, Tigers 3; Athletics 7, White Sox 0; and Rays 3, Royals 2.

Phillies win

In the National League, Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels turned in another dominating performance against Los Angeles, recording his third career shutout in the Phillies 3-0 win over the Dodgers.

In his first start in Los Angeles since winning the clincher of last season's NL championship series, Hamels retired 18 of the last 20 batters and allowed only two runners as far as second base - one of them on defensive indifference in the ninth. The 25-year-old left-hander struck out five and walked none.

The Phillies extended their lead in the NL East Division to four games, while the Dodgers' advantage in the NL West was sliced to eight games.

Elsewhere, it was: Cardinals 3, Reds 1; Marlins 4, Brewers 3; Pirates 11, Mets 6; Rockies 10, Astros 3; Giants 5, Nationals 1; and Giants 4, Nationals 1, 6 innings.


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