video thumbnail

TEX@TOR: Darvish strikes out 12 Blue Jays in 6 2/3

All Yankees manager Joe Girardi wants are chances -- chances to win, and chances to make a postseason push -- as his club sits four games behind the American League East-leading Orioles.

On Tuesday, the Yankees' front office helped give Girardi both of those by acquiring third baseman Chase Headley from the Padres in exchange for infielder Yangervis Solarte and pitching prospect Rafael De Paula.

Through 77 games with the Padres this season, Headley batted .229. Since July 4, however, he has hit .333, including a 1-for-4 effort on Tuesday night that included a walk-off single in the Yankees' 2-1, 14-inning win over the Rangers.

"They're trying to get us better," Girardi said. "It's the second move that we've made. [Brandon] McCarthy has pitched well for us since we acquired him [from the D-backs], and they're trying to upgrade our lineup and defense. I applaud them. They're giving us opportunities to win, and that's what we want."

Yu Darvish and the Rangers want that same opportunity, and when Texas' ace takes the mound in New York on Wednesday night to start the third of four games with the Yankees, Darvish will be seeking his 10th win of the season. If he gets it, this will be the third straight year with at least 10 wins for Darvish.

"It's really hard to be consistent; you have to know your body, and you have to know yourself," Darvish said. "I think I've been able to do that because I studied myself and studied the other guys."

Darvish was looking forward to continuing his reunion with catcher Geovany Soto. The two have always worked well together, and Darvish struck out 12 in a win when Soto started behind the plate on Friday night in Toronto. It was Soto's first game after a stint on the disabled list, but Soto returned to the DL on Tuesday after straining his right groin muscle in Monday night's 4-2 win in the Bronx. Chris Gimenez will resume his duties as Darvish's personal catcher.

"It's a downer," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of losing Soto again. "He's a competitor. He worked his tail off to get back. It's a blow, but he's just a facsimile of our season. We keep getting hurt -- the pieces that we were depending on."

The Rangers are expecting to get Alex Rios back for Wednesday's game. He was out of the starting lineup for three straight games with a sprained right ankle but said on Tuesday that he's ready to go.

Jake Smolinski is also expected to be available. He was out of the lineup on Tuesday with a bruised left foot after fouling a pitch off it on Monday.

Rios and Smolinski will face Yankees right hander David Phelps, who is seeking his fifth win of the season. Phelps has worked six innings or more in each of his three July outings, and he's 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA in that span.

Girardi said Phelps has slipped under many teams' radar, but not his.

"He has kind of gone unnoticed," Girardi said. "He's doing a really good job in our starting rotation. It took us a little time to get him going, to get his arm strength back for 100 pitches, but he's been really consistent for us."

Yankees: Solarte to San Diego
With Solarte now a member of the Padres, Girardi believes the utility man will have a smooth transition due to his versatility and the fact that he is a switch-hitter.

Solarte batted .254 in 75 games with the Yankees this season, meriting Girardi's praise.

"He's a kid that really burst on the scene the first two months here and was really part of our success," Girardi said. "He's going to get a great opportunity over there, and in the National League game, he's a guy that can play a lot of different positions.

"The opportunity is good for him, but we'll miss his personality and what he did for us here."

Rangers: Arencibia staying at first
With Soto on the DL, Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez are handling the Rangers' catching duties. J.P. Arencibia, who was a catcher his entire career before switching to first base this season, is going to stay at first.

The Rangers want Arencibia to concentrate on his hitting and show that he can be productive again at the Major League level.

"He has a chance to get some at-bats and prove something," Washington said of Arencibia, who snapped a 13th-inning scoreless tie on Tuesday night with his third homer of the season. "We'll see where it goes."

The Rangers expect injured slugger Prince Fielder to return next season, so they are not expecting Arencibia to compete at first base in 2015.

"First base is not in his future in Texas," Washington said.

Worth noting
• Gimenez took ground balls at third base early Tuesday. Gaining experience at third bolsters the versatility of Gimenez, who can catch and play first as well as the outfield.

• The Yankees switched things up on Tuesday, moving third baseman Kelly Johnson to the outfield and catcher Brian McCann to first base.

"It's just kind of giving [Ichiro Suzuki] a day," Girardi said. "We're in a long stretch here. I have confidence that guys will do it."

Johnson left Tuesday's win with a groin injury, and Girardi said after the game that Johnson had been scheduled to undergo an MRI exam.

MLB.com Comments