(Sports Network) - Cliff Lee tries to lead the Texas Rangers to a two-game sweep of the New York Yankees this evening at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Lee, who beat the Yankees twice in last year's World Series while pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies and also defeated them earlier in the year with Seattle, comes into tonight's affair having gone at least eight innings in each of his last 10 starts. It is the longest such streak since Toronto's Pat Hentgen went 12 in a row back in 1996.
"I'm not patting myself on the back for anything," Lee said. "I'm just trying to give my team a chance to win every time out."
Lee picked up his 100th big league win Friday in Oakland, as he held the Athletics to a run and seven hits in eight innings. He also struck out eight without walking a batter in improving to 2-2 in six starts since being acquired by the Rangers. He is 10-5 overall with an American League-low 2.44 earned run average.
Texas pulled out a dramatic win in the opener of this set on Tuesday, when David Murphy's game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Rangers to a 4-3 victory. Murphy also hit a two-run homer for Texas, which saw its brief two-game skid halted and won for the fourth time in its last six games overall.
The Rangers maintained their comfortable 8 1/2-game lead atop the AL West standings.
Alex Rodriguez homered for the Yankees, who entered this series after splitting four at home with arch-rival Boston. Nick Swisher posted two hits with an RBI in the losing effort.
New York saw its lead in the AL East trimmed to one-half game after the Tampa Bay Rays defeated Detroit earlier Tuesday.
Michael Young led off the bottom of the 10th inning with an infield single off of Yankees closer Mariano Rivera (3-2). Josh Hamilton followed with a base hit to shallow right field, and after Vladimir Guerrero's ground out moved both runners ahead one base, Nelson Cruz was intentionally walked to loaded the bases.
Murphy then stepped to the plate and delivered the game-winning single into right field as the Rangers celebrated on the field.
"I didn't know exactly what to look for (in a) 3-2 (count). I knew (Rivera) couldn't throw a ball. So I think it was safe to look middle in there," Murphy said.
Neftali Feliz (3-2), who tossed a pair of scoreless relief innings in the ninth and 10th, picked up the win.
The Yankees will turn to righty Javier Vazquez this evening as he tries to bounce back from a loss to the Red Sox his last time out. Vazquez gave up six runs (three earned) and six hits in 5 1/3 innings this past Friday, dropping him to 9-8 on the year to go along with a 4.63 ERA.
Vazquez has faced the Rangers five times and is 2-2 with a 5.74 ERA.
New York will also likely be without slugger Mark Teixeira this evening. He did not travel to Texas and remained in New York to be with his wife, who gave birth to the couple's third child on Tuesday.
The Yankees swept the Rangers in three games in the Bronx earlier in the year and are 15-5 in their last 20 trips to Arlington, where they will also visit for a three-game set from Sept. 10-12.