Matt Harrison battles in loss

NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison desperately wanted to plead his case to remain in the game.

But manager Ron Washington never gave him the chance.

“I couldn’t, he already took me out before he got out there,” said Harrison, who left with the score tied at 0-0 after giving up a single to Derek Jeter on his 106th pitch of the evening with one out in the seventh inning Tuesday.

“It’s tough to come out of games. You wanna be out there as long as possible. It’s a tie game and I really wanted to finish the inning. But they made a decision, and that’s what they wanted to do.”

The decision backfired. Right-handed reliever Alexi Ogando came in and surrendered back-to-back homers to Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira, and the New York Yankees topped the Rangers, 3-0.

“He was outstanding,” Washington said of Harrison, who labored through the first four innings (81 pitches) before finding his grove and ultimately ending up a tough-luck loser. “Early on, he had some stressful innings, but he found a way to make pitches and get out of it. And then after the fifth inning, he settled in there and started getting some quick outs.”

Harrison (13-7) gave up just one run on five hits over 6 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old walked three and struck out two. He worked in and out of trouble all evening, especially in the third, when he escaped a bases loaded jam by getting Curtis Granderson to fly out to center.

“I felt pretty good,” said Harrison, who is still one win shy of becoming the first southpaw in franchise history to get 10 wins on the road in a single season. “I struggled with command issues, but I was able to work things out and get into the seventh.”

In the fourth, Harrison was covered in sweat, which was dripping off his cap.

“It was just humid out there. I sweat a lot for some reason,” he said. “I got a new hat and went on with my business.”

In the end, Harrison was out-dueled by Hiroki Kuroda, who flirted with a no-no before finishing a complete-game two-hitter.

“It definitely makes it interesting,” Harrison said. “One mistake can cost you a ballgame. I was just trying to put up as many zeroes as I could and give us a chance.”

Harrison has lost three of his last five starts. He has a 1.26 ERA in two career starts at Yankee Stadium, compiling a 1-1 record. He is 2-4 with a 3.40 ERA in seven starts since July 1.