NEW YORK (AP) — Joba Chamberlain took a few steps off the mound and exhaled. The crowd at Yankee Stadium also let loose.
Once a fan favorite, Chamberlain got jeered Thursday after yet another shaky outing for the New York Yankees, this time in a 10-6 loss to the Texas Rangers.
“Honestly, I didn’t hear it,” Chamberlain said. “I would boo, too.”
“It didn’t hurt my feelings,” he said. “My own son booed me, so I guess that keeps it in perspective.”
Craig Gentry turned a spot start into a tiebreaking hit off Chamberlain in the seventh inning and Texas avoided a four-game sweep in a matchup of AL division leaders.
Texas had lost eight straight at Yankee Stadium overall. The hard-hitting Rangers had done little in this series, too, totaling only four runs before the finale.
Chamberlain gave up four hits while getting four outs. He has a 9.00 ERA in six games for New York, allowing 13 hits in six innings.
The Yankees and their fans had high hopes when the hard-throwing reliever rejoined the team after an injury-interrupted season. He began the year recovering from Tommy John surgery, then dislocated his ankle during spring training in a trampoline accident with his 5-year-old son.
“It’s frustrating,” Chamberlain said.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi says inconsistency is Chamberlain’s biggest problem and that “right now I don’t have any plans to make any changes.”
“We said all along when we brought him back that he would be a factor in September,” Girardi said.
Texas took a 2-0 lead into the sixth before both teams broke loose with the bats. It was a seesaw after that, with the Yankees rallying for a 5-4 lead before the Rangers came back with three in the seventh.
David Murphy hit a tying RBI double off Boone Logan (4-1) and, after an intentional walk that loaded the bases, the speedy Gentry lined a tiebreaking single up the middle.
Gentry started for the first time in two weeks and tied a career best with three RBIs. Adrian Beltre also drove in three runs while Josh Hamilton doubled twice and scored three times.
Ichiro Suzuki got three hits for the Yankees, who had won seven of eight.
Ivan Nova wound up with a no-decision that left him with just one win in his last seven starts. In trouble early, he struck out Hamilton on three pitches with the bases loaded and no outs in the third and escaped that jam without allowing a run.
Nova tweaked his groin fielding Gentry’s comebacker to end the fourth, and stayed in the game.
“I think he’ll make his next start. We’ll see,” Girardi said.
The Yankees closed to 7-6 in the bottom half on Mark Teixeira’s RBI grounder. Reliever Michael Kirkman struck out Andruw Jones, who’d homered the previous inning, with runners at the corners to prevent further damage.
Beltre added a sacrifice fly and Geovany Soto hit an RBI single in the eighth, finishing Chamberlain.
Down 4-0, the Yankees once again picked on Derek Holland while rallying for five runs in the sixth.
Batting cleanup for the first time this season, Jones tied it with a two-out, two-run homer that umpires confirmed on video review. Texas third baseman Beltre pointed foul the whole time Jones rounded the bases, but the replay showed the ball clearly landed several feet inside the left-field foul pole.
Rookie right fielder Mike Olt dropped Casey McGehee’s fly for a two-base error and Russell Martin met reliever Tanner Scheppers with a go-ahead single.
Holland began the afternoon 0-5 with a 9.26 ERA against the Yankees in regular-season play, though he has beaten them in relief during the playoffs.
Scheppers (1-0) won his first big league decision.