ARLINGTON -- The home half of the sixth inning presented the exact situation that cried for Boone Logan's job description, with the Rangers set to send up three straight lefties looking to bust open a tied game.
But it has certainly not been Logan's year to date, and the Yankees' patience seems to be wearing thin. Julio Borbon's squeeze bunt pushed across the go-ahead run, and Texas held on for a 7-5 victory on Saturday night.
"It's frustrating because I know I've got to get my lefties out," Logan said. "That's what I'm frustrated about. I don't want no one to give up on me."
One of Logan's weapons, his sharp slider, is missing in action. Instead he has been trying to get by with an inferior loopy version, and hitters are taking advantage.
"We have to get him going," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We need him to pitch well for us like he did last year. He's been off to a slow start, there's no doubt about it."
Logan had come on for the final two outs of the fifth inning, relieving Bartolo Colon, who tossed a five-run clunker in his first ineffective start of the year.
The Yankees had battled back from five runs down to tie the game, bashing Derek Holland for four runs in three-plus innings and briefly knotting things up on Nick Swisher's sixth-inning homer.
The first lefty against Logan, Mitch Moreland, sat on a first-pitch fastball and hammered it for a double. Logan then got ahead of Chris Davis 0-2 before hanging a slider, which Davis punched for a single to right.
"You've got to be able to make those pitches in those situations," Girardi said, pursing his lips. "Tonight, he wasn't able to do it."
Girardi's thoughts flashed back to last Sept. 12 -- when Borbon pushed a beautiful drag bunt up the first-base line -- and he went to the mound to alert his infielders of the possibility of a repeat performance.
Sure enough, Borbon placed a perfect squeeze where a charging Mark Teixeira couldn't get to it, and Logan's only play was to throw to first base while the go-ahead run scored.
"They're a good team, and we knew they weren't out of it," Borbon said. "We were able to keep our head in the game. We kept fighting and kept believing we were going to put runs on the board."
Michael Young capped the damage with an RBI single later in the inning off David Robertson, a run charged to Logan, who has allowed a .364 (8-for-22) clip to lefties this year and owns a 5.40 ERA.
"I feel good. I'm out there and I feel great," Logan said. "Mechanically, I feel great. I just feel like I need my slider, and if I'm going to work with what I have now, I've got to throw it in the dirt when I'm ahead in the count."
Logan was never supposed to be the Yankees' primary left-hander out of the 'pen, but Pedro Feliciano went on the disabled list without ever throwing a pitch under his new two-year, $8 million contract.
With no other options at hand, Girardi said that he may have to try getting Logan into situations against lefties and righties so he can return to his 2010 form (2.93 ERA in 40 innings, spanning 51 appearances).
Before Logan's troubles, Colon said that his problems stemmed from a lack of command of his two-seamer, which has been one of his go-to weapons in this unlikely career resurgence.
The Rangers cracked Colon hard for nine hits in 4 1/3 innings, and when Girardi came to take the ball after just 76 pitches, Colon couldn't put up a fight.
"I think it was right to take me out of the game," Colon said through an interpreter. "Texas was hitting every pitch that I was throwing. We're trying to win the game. It's not about Bartolo."
On his way to a four-hit performance, Young rocketed a solo homer over the left-field wall in the first inning, and David Murphy followed suit with a solo shot starting the home half of the second.
"The location was the problem today," Colon said. "I tried to hit the corners, and the ball came right back to the middle."
Borbon smashed a two-run triple and Ian Kinsler belted a deep sacrifice fly later in the second, and Colon may have been lucky to even escape the inning, gifted the third out when Elvis Andrus fell down rounding third base.
"He was in the middle of the plate too much and this is a good hitting team," Girardi said of Colon. "If you miss in the middle, they're going to hurt you."
The Yankees erupted for four runs in the third inning off Holland, with all the damage coming after there were two outs.
Derek Jeter opened the rally with a double off the left-field wall, and Curtis Granderson's walk set up Teixeira's bloop RBI single to center.
A walk to Alex Rodriguez loaded the bases, and Robinson Cano cleared them with a three-run triple.
Texas' bullpen quartet of Brett Tomko, Arthur Rhodes, Darren Oliver and Neftali Feliz held the Yankees to a single run -- Swisher's homer -- over the last six innings, clinching a losing road trip for New York.
"I think you go through these phases sometimes during the season, where everything's not really clicking the way that you want," Swisher said. "If having a bad game is going out there and putting five runs up on a team like the Texas Rangers, I'll take that."