Michael Kirkman plays key role

NEW YORK -- Ron Washington called Michael Kirkman's performance Thursday a "huge turn of events" for the Rangers.

And he was right.

Kirkman got the Rangers out of a tight spot in the seventh inning Thursday.

And, thanks to some sloppy fielding by Texas, it wasn't easy.

Kirkman entered with a runner on first and got Raul Ibanez to ground into a force out at second.

Derek Jeter then hit a ball that could have been a double play but Elvis Andrus flubbed the toss to Michael Young, so both Ibanez and Jeter were safe.

After a Nick Swisher walk, Ibanez scored on a force out to bring the Yankees within one at 7-6.

But Kirkman got Andruw Jones to strike out swinging to end the inning.

"He kept his poise and kept the ball down," Washington said. "That was a huge turn of events for Kirkman."

Two best teams? Save it for October: The Rangers denied that there was any significance or deeper meaning to their series against the Yankees this week.

New York and Texas have the two best records in the American League so some viewed this series as a playoff preview.

But not Washington.

"I don't look at these games in that sense," Washington said. "We went out there to play baseball because there's a whole lot of games left to go."

Young agreed.

"It doesn't matter who we're playing against," he said. "You want to win no matter what."

Great plays by Beltre: In addition to proving three runs with his bat Thursday, Adrian Beltre probably saved three runs with his glove in the Rangers' 10-6 win over New York.

In the top of the third, Jeter hit a grounder to third. Beltre fielded it and his momentum carried him into foul territory. But he made the throw to Mitch Moreland to get Jeter.

"I don't know how that ball jumped in his glove, but he has such good hands," Washington said.