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MLB: After recent ugly losses, Yankees take opener with Rangers

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Gary Sanchez homered, Aaron Judge hit an RBI single in a three-run third inning and the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 Monday night at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees (84-67) rebounded from getting outscored 22-4 in a pair of blowout losses to the Cleveland Indians Saturday and Sunday and won for just the eighth time in 23 games since their 13-game winning streak ended. New York moved a half-game back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second wild card and moved within two games of the wild-card leading Boston Red Sox.

Sanchez gave the Yankees the lead in his first at-bat when he lined a 3-1 fastball off Texas rookie A.J Alexy (2-1) into the left field seats for his 22nd home run. Sanchez’s homer occurred two days after he misplayed a foul pop by Cleveland’s Oscar Mercado to prolong an at-bat, and the Indians went on to score seven runs in the inning.

Judge stroked his RBI single to ignite a three-run third before the Yankees went up 4-0 on a sacrifice fly by Giancarlo Stanton and a single by Gleyber Torres.

New York held a four-run lead until the fifth.

Charlie Culberson dinged a curveball off the foul pole in left to open the inning and Isiah Kiner-Falefa followed with an RBI double two batters later to chase Nestor Cortes. Kiner-Falefa took third on a wild pitch and got Texas within 4-3 when Adolis Garcia lifted a sacrifice fly off Chad Green.

Green (8-7), who was credited with the win by the official scorer, finished the fifth by retiring DJ Peters and tossed a perfect sixth. Clay Holmes worked a perfect seventh and got two outs in the eighth before Joely Rodriguez fanned Nick Solak on a check-swing with two on.

Aroldis Chapman fanned two in a perfect ninth and recorded his 28th save in 32 chances.

Cortes allowed three runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out seven, walked two and threw 92 pitches.

Alexy allowed four runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings. He issued six walks and struck out one in his third career start.

Texas (55-95) lost for the sixth time in eight games.

–Field Level Media

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