NEW YORK -- It took the equivalent of two full games for the Yankees to score a run against the Texas Rangers, and that was only enough to pull them even with the worst team in the American League.
Thankfully, it took them only one inning to score a second run, which was enough to finally put an end to a marathon game in which timely hits were even rarer than cheap tickets at Yankee Stadium.
Chasing glory: The end came, mercifully, in the 14th inning -- after five hours, 17 pitchers and more than 400 pitches. Chase Headley, who became a Yankee just this afternoon, didn't arrive at the ballpark until the game had already started and didn't enter the game until the eighth inning, singled in his fourth at-bat of the game to drive in Brian Roberts (double) with the winning run. Headley's first shower as a Yankee was a Gatorade bath from Brett Gardner on the field.
The Yankees had had two runners on in the 11th and the bases loaded in the 12th and came up empty both times before finally tying it in the 13th.
And the oddest note of all: The winning pitcher was Jeff Francis, who was acquired 11 days ago but had yet to throw a pitch as a Yankee before working the top of the 14th.
Everything's Jake: Jacoby Ellsbury's single drove in Gardner (double) from third to snap the 18-inning scoreless streak, stretching back to the fourth inning of Monday's 4-2 loss, and pull the Yankees into a 1-1 tie. Carlos Beltran followed with a single, but the Yankees failed to win it then when Brian McCann hit into an inning-ending double play.
Baker's dozen: The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the 12th inning -- on an infield hit, a pop fly that dropped between three outfielder and an intentional walk -- and failed to get the run home, even though Rangers reliever Jeff Baker went to 3-0 on Francisco Cervelli, who ripped a 3-1 pitch right at 3B Adrian Beltre, who made a leaping catch for the second out. Then Baker got the newest Yankee, Headley to hit a broken-bat grounder to second to end the inning.
No. 2 is No. 1, again: Jeter's ninth-inning double into the left-field corner was the 535th of his career, which moved him ahead of Lou Gehrig for first-place on the Yankees all-time doubles list.
Wild goose Chase: Chase Whitley pitched a terrific game -- six-plus innings, no runs, seven hits and six strikeouts -- but had nothing to show for it, as the Yankees failed to score a run for him. Whitley's performance was all the more remarkable considering the leadoff batter reached base in six of the seven innings he started, and he certainly benefited from Texas' baserunning gaffes and a couple of good plays by his infield. But Whitley's finest moment came in the third, when after giving up a leadoff single, followed by a stolen base, he reared back to strike out the next two batters, Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus. It was Whitley's longest outing since June 12, when he worked into the eighth inning to beat the Seattle Mariners.
Chasing: The Chase Headley era began at Yankee Stadium when Girardi sent him up to hit for Zelous Wheeler with two out in the eighth. The crowd applauded expectantly as he came to the plate -- and groaned audibly as he struck out swinging to end the inning. Welcome to New York, Chase!
Was that Nick Martinez? Or Pedro?: Rangers starter Nick Martinez came into the game with a 1-6 record and 5.10 ERA, but he subdued the Yankees for 5 1/3 innings on three hits and a walk before Ron Washington pulled him after a walk to Gardner. Martinez, who had allowed 10 earned runs in his previous 7 1/3 innings over two starts, retired 14 of the last 16 Yankees he faced in the game. But due to lack of run support from his own offensively-deficient team, Martinez had to settle for a no decision.
Stumblebums: The Rangers seemed to be deliberately running themselves out of this game: first in the third inning, when Rangers DH Daniel Robertson tried to advance to third on a pitch that bounded just a couple of feet away from Cervelli and was easily gunned down; and even worse in the fifth, when Robinson Chirinos (double) nonchalantly went to third on Robertson's single and then foolishly tried to score as Jeter took the relay throw. Chirinos was thrown out at home by several steps. In the radio booth, John Sterling observed, "The Rangers run the bases like drunks." Couldn't have said it better myself.
Double clutch: Rangers CF Leonys Martin made a great catch at the right-center-field wall on McCann's long drive leading off the second, made doubly great because Martin had to catch the ball twice -- once when it hit his glove on his way up to the top of the wall and again after it popped out on the way down.
Tomorrow: The Yankees have their work cut out for them in Game 3 of this four-game series, when David Phelps (4-4, 3.87) takes on RHP Darvish (9-5, 2.88), a pitcher they have not beaten in three attempts, although they did force him to take an ND in his only Yankee Stadium start last June. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.