NEW YORK -- Josh Hamilton hit two home runs on Wednesday night. He also offered the most obvious explanation as to why the Rangers have lost three straight to the Yankees in the Bronx."They're doing the three things you need to do to win ballgames -- hitting, pitching and playing defense," Hamilton said. "They've done a better job at that than we have the past three days." That pretty much sums it up after the Yankees scored three runs in the third inning against Rangers starter Scott Feldman and went on to a 3-2 victory at Yankee Stadium. Hamilton's home runs were two of just four hits off Yankees pitchers and came with nobody on base. The Rangers' pitching and defense haven't been that bad, but their offense has ground to a halt after getting off to a strong start in August. The Rangers have scored four runs in their past three games while hitting .152 as a team. Three of the runs have come on home runs. Otherwise, they are 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-3 on Wednesday night. "I don't know," Hamilton said. "It's not like we're not giving the effort or putting forth the effort. They're swinging the bats pretty good and we're not. We're cold and they're hot. Their pitching has been pretty good." "Our guys have done a tremendous job," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. On Wednesday, it was Freddy Garcia along with relievers Boone Logan, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. Garcia allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings and is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA in his last seven starts against the Rangers, dating to 2004. "What I've seen the past three days is the Yankees' pitchers have just shut us down," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Garcia had good offspeed stuff; he stayed away from the middle of the plate and stayed down. They've scored runs offensively, and we haven't. We're a team that can score runs; we just haven't. Maybe we'll bust out of it." Second baseman Ian Kinsler, who has one hit in his last 22 at-bats, was ejected from the game in the top of the eighth inning after being called out on strikes by home-plate umpire Vic Carapazza. It was Kinsler's third ejection of the season. "He didn't think the pitch was a strike and let the umpire know about it," Washington said. "When you're in the heat of battle, that sometimes happens." The Rangers, despite their mini-skid, still have a six-game lead in the American League West going into the fourth and final game of the series on Thursday afternoon. They will also be trying to break an eight-game losing streak to the Yankees in the Bronx that dates to last season. "We need to come out with the energy that we had at home and score early," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We haven't done that here." Instead, the Yankees took a 3-0 lead in the third. Jayson Nix started the rally with a high chopper to the left of the mound. Feldman made the play off the mound, but his off-balance throw skipped past first baseman Mike Olt. Derek Jeter followed with a single to right that moved Nix to third, and Nick Swisher brought Nix home with a soft fly ball down the left-field line that fell in for a double. Jeter ended up at third and scored on Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly. Feldman struck out Mark Teixeira, but Eric Chavez lined a single to left to score Swisher. "It was one of those innings where they strung together some hits," Feldman said. "It was a frustrating inning, but I didn't think the game was over. I kept battling and trying to make pitches." Hamilton delivered his first home run with one out in the fourth. The Rangers then loaded the bases when Adrian Beltre singled, Nelson Cruz reached on a fielder's choice and David Murphy walked. But Garcia got Geovany Soto to hit into an inning-ending double play. "That was a big inning, but once again, Freddy made a big pitch and did exactly what he needed to do," Washington said. The Rangers did not get another hit until the sixth, when Hamilton launched his second home run, which landed beyond the halfway point in the right-field bleachers and was measured at 447 feet. "You can handle solo shots," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said. "He's a tremendous talent. If you make a mistake, more often than not, he's going to take advantage of it. The approach on him is treat him 0-2 from the get-go." Hamilton's second homer was the last one for the Rangers on the night. They didn't get another baserunner until the ninth, when Cruz reached with two outs on a throwing error. But Murphy grounded out to end the game.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.