June 7: Texas 10, New York 2
WOW. The two homer-happiest teams in the league met in the homer-happiest stadium, and it was the underdog Texans who took advantage of NY’s little-league stadium in game one. Josh Hamilton, Marlon Byrd, and Julio Franco all drilled homers in the second for a six run inning. Hamilton homered his next time up too. Byrd, who has spent most of the year on the outside of Texas’s 25-man roster, followed his homer with two doubles and a single.
Charlie Hough is usually one of the homers-allowed-happiest pitchers in the league, but his knuckler was dancing, hypnotizing, and infuriating the NY lineup in this one, Hough’s first nine-inning start of the season. The Yanks could muster only two hits against the flutter-balls, and they came back-to-back in the form of a Lou Gehrig single and Babe Ruth homer.
R H BB TEX 061 020 010 - 10 14 0 NY 000 002 000 - 2 2 3 HR: J. Franco (8), J. Hamilton-2 (6), M. Byrd (1), B. Ruth (15) starters IP R ER HR BB SO C. Hough 9.0 2 2 1 3 5 R. Caldwell 1.1 5 5 2 0 0 TEX 30-28, NY 33-25
June 8: New York 5, Texas 4
Roger Clemens steadied the Yanks the next day with a strong seven frames, but the Rangers nearly came back to steal the game. Homers from Gehrig and Robinson Cano against Gaylord Perry built an early 4-0 lead for NY. After Texas got two runs off Clemens in his seven innings, Mariano Rivera came in to try for a two-inning save. Julio Franco greeted him to the game with a double. Rivera retired the next two Rangers, but then Rafael Palmeiro hushed the stadium with a game-tying bomb.
Robinson Cano already had a double and a home-run in the ledger when he led off the bottom of the ninth with the score still tied. Cano drilled another round-tripper to walk it off for New York.
R H BB TEX 000 020 020 - 4 8 3 NY 021 100 001 - 5 9 3 HR: R. Palmeiro (13), L. Gehrig (16), R. Cano-2 (6) starters IP R ER HR BB SO G. Perry 7.0 4 4 2 1 1 R. Clemens 7.0 2 2 0 3 4 TEX 30-29, NY 34-25
June 9: New York 6, Texas 3
Ruth tied Gehrig for the league home-run lead at 16 in the fifth inning, but only got to enjoy the top spot for about 20 minutes. Gehrig homered his next time up to reclaim his familiar solo spot at the top.
Waite Hoyt pitched a sneaky good game for New York, giving up 10 singles and four walks, but no extra base knocks, and pitching around base-runners effectively enough to only yield one earned run in eight innings.
Julio Franco capped off a huge series with three singles and a walk.
R H BB TEX 000 001 020 - 3 10 4 NY 002 030 10x - 6 9 2 HR: L. Gehrig (17), B. Ruth (16) starters IP R ER HR BB SO F. Jenkins 6.2 6 6 2 2 6 W. Hoyt 8.0 3 1 0 4 8 TEX 30-30, NY 35-25