Somehow, the team with the worst pitching in the majors made the New York Yankees look absolutely pitiful at the plate.
Ismael Valdes came off the disabled list and combined with three relievers to silence the Yankee hitters, and the Texas Rangers took advantage of two errors to win, 5-2, Saturday.
Ranger pitchers retired the last 16 batters, and that was the real surprise. Texas began the day with the highest earned-run average in baseball, and had given up the most runs and hits in the American League.
“This is exactly what we needed,” said Francisco Cordero, who struck out the side in the eighth inning.
Manager Buck Showalter’s last-place team sent his former club to its third consecutive series loss -- the Yankees had not dropped three series in a row since May 11-20, 1999.
Overall, the first-place Yankees lost for the fifth time in six games.
“We’re about as flat as a pancake,” Manager Joe Torre said.
Valdes (3-2) had been sidelined since April 19 because of tendinitis in the back of his right shoulder.
Other than giving up a two-run homer to Robin Ventura, Valdes was sharp. He gave up five hits in five innings and left with a 5-2 lead.
Brian Shouse struck out two in two perfect innings and Cordero struck out John Flaherty, Alfonso Soriano and Derek Jeter.
Ugueth Urbina finished off the Yankees in the ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances.