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TEX@NYY: Rangers tie record with six double plays

NEW YORK -- Matt Harrison was cold. He admitted he was cold and admitted he hates pitching in cold weather. But enduring temperatures in the 40's and a brisk whipping wind was not enough to force him to put on a long-sleeve shirt.

"I don't like sleeves," Harrison said. "They get in the way."

Harrison hasn't let anything get in his way this season, and a frigid Friday night at Yankee Stadium was no different. The Rangers turned six double plays -- tying an American League record -- behind Harrison and he won his third straight start with a 5-3 victory over the Yankees before 40,814 fans in the Bronx.

The Rangers have now won nine of their last 12 games against the Yankees, including four of six to win the AL Championship Series last October. It was chilly last autumn, but not like this.

"This felt like it was in the 30's," outfielder Nelson Cruz said after Neftali Feliz worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.

"I'll wear short sleeves every time if we get six double plays," Harrison said.

Harrison ended up going eight innings, allowing seven hits and three walks while battling the climates. The double plays were big, but Harrison also didn't allow an extra-base hit until a home run by Curtis Granderson made it 5-2 in the eighth. Harrison is now 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA after three starts.

"He kept the ball down," Granderson said. "That's what you teach pitchers. When you go ahead and want to make ground-ball outs, you make pitches down in the zone. He did a great job of that.

"It was amazing to watch pressure get put on him, but he made all of his pitches down, from his fastball to his slider to his changeup. You get guys to go ahead to swing at that pitch, you put it in play and it's hard to do something with."

Harrison started two of the double plays himself by snagging smartly hit grounders back to the mound. He almost threw both away, but shortstop Elvis Andrus saved him by reaching high to snag the throws.

"That was kind of dicey," Harrison said. "The first one ... when I let that go, I thought it was going into center field. The second one was only a little lower."

First baseman Mitch Moreland was involved in six double plays, tying an AL record for his position. Andrus was involved in five, tying a nine-inning Major League record for shortstops.

"I'm not hitting that good, so it's nice to do something," Andrus said. "When you get in those situations, you just have to make plays. They hit a ground ball right at you, that's what you're supposed to do. You've got to help your pitcher when he's doing a great job and painting like that."

Actually, the one that Andrus wasn't involved in was the biggest of the night. It came in the first inning and was another small test of Harrison showing the mental toughness that he has been leaning on since Spring Training.

After Yankees starter Ivan Nova retired the side in the first inning, Harrison's night began with singles by Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher. Harrison was able to strike out Mark Teixeira, but that brought up Alex Rodriguez, who began the night hitting .412 with four home runs in 11 games.

Harrison fell behind, 3-1, and catcher Yorvit Torrealba called for a changeup.

"If you want to be successful, you have to be able to throw all of your pitches in any count, and most of our guys can do that," Torrealba said. "I decided to go with a 3-1 changeup because if we walk him, we get the next guy. The guy obviously has hit 600 home runs. The last thing I wanted to do was throw him a good fastball."

In the ninth, Feliz threw Rodriguez a good fastball, and he doubled off the wall in left-center. Harrison threw a changeup, and Rodriguez hit it right at third baseman Adrian Beltre, who worked it around the horn for an inning-ending double play.

"That was huge," manager Ron Washington said. "Alex is swinging a hot bat right now, and everybody in baseball knows how dangerous he can be. Harry made the pitch and got him."

There were still five more double plays to come, but that was the big one. The Rangers scratched out runs off Nova in the second and third, giving Harrison a lead that he never gave back.

"That first inning was the big part of the game," Harrison said. "That could have been bad -- start us off behind in the game. It's hard to battle back against these guys, especially at their place."

The Rangers had only four hits, including two by Michael Young. He drove in a run in the third with a double that was the 353rd of his career, setting a new club record. The Rangers also made the most of seven walks, three wild pitches and one hit batsman.

Nova left during the Rangers' three-run fifth. Texas had just one single in that inning, but three walks, a hit batsman and three wild pitches did the rest.

"He was kind of wild," Cruz said of Nova. "He had great stuff, but the weather affected all of the pitchers and their command. The goal was to be patient."

The weather affected some more than others and Harrison least of all. Comments