McCann sparks Yanks' comeback win over Rangers

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[June 30, 2016]  NEW YORK -- Brian McCann rounded first base and grabbed at his knee after hitting what seemed like a meaningless home run in the eighth inning.

An inning later, McCann hit an even more significant home run and a few moments later he was participating in a wild celebration at home plate.

McCann hit the game-tying three-run home run with one out in the ninth inning and Didi Gregorius delivered the game-winning two-run homer as the New York Yankees rallied from a five-run deficit to record a 9-7 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

"Probably the biggest win of the year," Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez said.

The stage for New York's biggest win of the season was set when Rob Refsnyder opened the ninth with a single off Matt Bush with the Yankees trailing 7-3. Refsnyder scored the first run on a fielding error by center fielder Ian Desmond.

Then the drama began for the Yankees.

McCann put Gregorius in position for the game-winning hit when he drove a 1-0 pitch from Texas closer Sam Dyson (1-2) into the right field seats. Five pitches later, Gregorius won it by lining Dyson's first pitch into the first row of the right field seats.

"I know we're a team like everybody's looking at us like we don't work really hard," Gregorius said. "But we keep fighting. We still got to play the game the right way. You never know until the last out.

"Nobody gave up. Everybody kept working, getting on base. McCann came up big and I hit the walk off. So it's just everybody getting on base that gets the team going."

The Yankees (38-39) snapped a frustrating three-game losing streak when Gregorius gave them their third walk-off win of the season.

New York was nearly no-hit by Tyler Duffey on Sunday, gave up four runs in the ninth Tuesday morning after a three and a half hour rain delay and did little against Cole Hamels Tuesday night.

"It's a huge win," McCann said. "We felt one two days ago got away and Cole Hamels shut us out yesterday. Tonight was a big win."

"It feels better and you hope it gives you some momentum because we're in a tough stretch here and we need to win games," Yankees manager Joe Girardi added.

Before McCann sparked New York's first win in 37 games this season when trailing after eight innings, Chase Headley drove in the first two runs with a home run and a sacrifice fly.

Texas scored four of its runs in the third off Masahiro Tanaka, who allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings. Luis Cessa (1-0) pitched three innings for his first career victory.

The Rangers had a 5-1 lead through three on a bases-clearing double by Nomar Mazara and an RBI infield single by Prince Fielder. Texas took a 6-1 lead on Rougned Odor's 14th home run and went up 7-2 on Adrian Beltre's 12th.

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Yankees catcher Brian McCann (34) rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Texas, which had a bullpen ERA of 4.84, allowed a walk-off hit for a major league-leading eighth time. The Rangers were unable to establish club records with their ninth road win and 21st win in June.

"Obviously when you have your closer on the mound in a save situation, they're very challenging," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Four-run lead there in the 9th, and we've been really good at closing those games out."

"Threw some quality pitches down in the zone and they got hit," Dyson said. "That's the end of it. I kind of came in and let everybody down. It's part of the game but you don't want it to happen."

Nick Martinez was in line for his first road win before New York came back. He allowed two runs and three hits in five-plus innings but also gave up a walk to McCann in the sixth which knocked him out.

NOTES: Rangers RHP Yu Darvish (right shoulder discomfort) threw a three-inning simulated game Wednesday that consisted of 46 pitches to INF Jurickson Profar and OF Ryan Rua. Texas has not decided what the next step is as of yet, but it is likely Darvish will need another outing somewhere before returning. ... New York OF Carlos Beltran (tight right hamstring) did not play Wednesday. Although the soreness has gone down from Tuesday, Beltran is unlikely to play Thursday. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira sat out as the team tries to manage him playing with torn cartilage in his right knee. "If we overdo it, then I'm going to be on the operating table, unfortunately," Teixeira said. ... Texas manager Jeff Banister said LHP Cole Hamels would not have pitched the eighth inning Tuesday even if the team did not add five runs to a 2-0 lead. ... The Yankees announced the signing of their first-round pick, OF Blake Rutherford.

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