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Yanks crush Rangers to stay hot in AL East

THE surging New York Yankees eased to a 12-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, turning what was expected to be a tight contest between the top teams in the American League into a rout.

The Yankees pounded out a seven-run fourth inning to support strong pitching from starter A.J. Burnett, who struck out eight batters while allowing three runs in seven innings.

Jorge Posada had three hits and four RBI, while Hideki Matsui added a three-run homer to help the AL East-leading Yankees (31-21) secure a fifth win in six games.

"We did the talking with our bats. That's how you win games," New York first baseman Mark Teixeira told reporters.

New York began a seven-game homestand in hot form and has compiled a 16-4 record since May 13.

Texas starter Vicente Padilla returned from the disabled list to pitch for the first time since May 16, but was relieved early after giving up seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings.

The right-hander struggled with his control while throwing 88 pitches and walking four batters.

Elsewhere in the AL, it was: Red Sox 5, Tigers 1; Blue Jays 6, Angels 4; Rays 6, Royals 2; Twins 4, Indians 3; Athletics 5, White Sox 0; and Mariners 8, Orioles 2.

In the National League, it was: Pirates 3, Mets 1; Nationals 10, Giants 6; Braves 6, Cubs 5 (in 12 innings); Marlins 10, Brewers 3; Astros 3, Rockies 2 (in 11 innings); Cardinals 5, Reds 2; Phillies 10, Padres 5; and Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5.

In New York, outfielder Nelson Cruz provided the team's only offense with a three-run home run in the third to give the Rangers (30-21) a brief 3-2 advantage before the Yankees took complete control.

Johnny Damon and Robinson Cano had RBI singles in the fourth for New York, and Posada belted a three-run blast in the sixth.

Derek Jeter recorded three hits and scored his 1,500th career run, making him the fourth active player to achieve the mark and just the third Yankee in history.

Former Ranger Teixeira had his career-high 14-game hitting streak snapped and was hit twice by pitches in a contentious contest that also saw Burnett throw over Cruz's head.

New York's record-setting errorless streak ended at 18 games when catcher Posada threw the ball into center field on Elvis Andrus' fourth-inning steal of second base. Posada's error, allowing Andrus to take third, was the Yankees' first since shortstop Ramiro Pena misplayed a grounder by the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista at Toronto on May 13.


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