Rangers get to Mo for walk-off in 10th inning
Murphy steals the show with heroics, drives in three runs total
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder David Murphy doesn't even drink beer, but he was reeking with the smell of suds after Tuesday's win."Anything is a good smell right now," said Murphy, who was treated to the Rangers' traditional postgame beer shower that comes with a walk-off hit. This one was a one-out single in the bottom of the 10th inning off of All-Star closer Mariano Rivera that gave the Rangers a 4-3 victory over the Yankees at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Murphy also got the trendy postgame pie in the face as Texas opened up its homestand with its first victory in four games against the Yankees this season. "I got both the pie and the beer shower, but it's a great feeling," Murphy said. "Let's do it again tomorrow night. Let's do it every night." The Rangers will send Cliff Lee to the mound on Wednesday with a chance for a two-game sweep of the Yankees, but until then, they can relish the rare opportunity of beating a future Hall of Famer. Rivera entered the game with a 0.88 ERA on the season, and this is only the third time in his career that he has lost to the Rangers. "Hey, we beat him," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You don't get that opportunity very often, but tonight we did. It's a big one. It's a huge win, one that we needed. They're the best and we came with our best foot forward and got a win." The Rangers now lead the Angels by 8 1/2 games and the Athletics by nine in the American League West. There are 50 games left. "Just a great way to start the homestand," Murphy said. "It was a great way to make a statement that we can play with anyone, that we belong and we're not a fluke." Murphy's heroics were not limited to a game-winning single in the 10th. He made a big throw in the fifth to gun down Nick Swisher at the plate trying to score from second on a single, then hit a two-run home run off of Yankees starter A.J. Burnett in the sixth. "It was David Murphy's show all the way," Washington said after a victory that came in front of 46,121 fans, most of whom were still there until the end. "That was a big win for us," third baseman Michael Young said. "I thought we battled. There's not a guy I respect more than Mo. I have the ultimate respect for him. It was nice to be able to chip away and find a way to win." Murphy's home run in the sixth gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead, but Alex Rodriguez tied it up with a home run off of Frank Francisco to lead off the eighth. "It's pretty good," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We've got to show them that we're here. We're here for a reason and we're here to win. It's a good win for us. Every win right now is pretty big for us." Young led off the 10th-inning rally by beating out a ground ball into the left-side hole. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was able to backhand the ball, but couldn't muster enough arm strength to throw out Young. Josh Hamilton then rolled a grounder through the right side for a single and Young stopped at second. Vladimir Guerrero followed with a hard grounder to the left side and Rodriguez made a terrific stop to his left. His only play was to first as the other runners moved up to second and third. "It's tough," Jeter said. "There's not too many guys that hit balls hard off Mo. The first one, once Michael Young hits one in the hole not too hard, you're not going to throw him out. Then another ground ball got through, but you tip your hat to them because they had some good at-bats." Said Rivera, "They might be in the newspaper as line drives. They're hits. You can't do nothing. I tried to make good pitches and it didn't work tonight. " Nelson Cruz was then intentionally walked to bring up Murphy. Rivera threw three straight balls to start the at-bat, got one over for a strike and then Murphy fouled a cut-fastball on the outside corner to run the count full. "The guy has walked six guys all year," Murphy said. "The guy showed a long time ago he knows how to throw strikes. I didn't expect him to walk me. His cutter is his best pitch. He threw the 3-1 pitch on the outside corner, so I was looking for something middle in." Murphy got it and lined it into right-center for the game-winning hit. He was immediately mobbed by his teammates around first base with a beer shower and pie-smack still to come. Rangers closer Neftali Feliz earned the victory by throwing two scoreless innings in the ninth and 10th innings. "I can't say enough about the job Neftali did tonight," Washington said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.