Alex Rodriguez Passes Mark McGwire on All-Time Home Run List, Yankees Beat Rangers 7-3

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NEW YORK — For the first time
since the days of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, the New York Yankees have won four
straight series to start a season.

Alex Rodriguez passed Mark McGwire for
eighth place with his 584th home run, Derek Jeter also connected and
A.J. Burnett pitched seven shutout innings Saturday to lead the surging
Yankees over the Rangers 7-3.

After taking two of three against
Boston, Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Angels, the defending World Series
champions swept the opening two games of a three-game set against
Texas.

Not since 1926, the first year Ruth and Gehrig started the season together, had the Yankees won
their first four series.The only other year they achieved the feat was
1922, when they were still playing at the Polo Grounds.

On a historic anniversary in Yankees
history — Mickey Mantle made his debut on April 17, 1951, and Bob
Sheppard
announced his first game that afternoon — New York improved to
8-3 for its best 11-game start since 2003.

Brett Gardner had three of the
Yankees' six infield hits and Jeter also had three hits, helping Joe
Girardi
to his 200th win as New York's manager. Jorge Posada had two
hits to reach 1,500, joining Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey and Thurman Munson
as the only players who were primarily catchers to reach the mark for
the Yankees.

Burnett (2-0) allowed six hits, struck
out seven and walked two to win his second straight start.

Scott Feldman (1-1) gave up four runs
and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings — matching the shortest start of his big
league career — as Texas lost its third in a row.

Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer in
the eighth off Alfredo Aceves, Cruz's major league-leading seventh home
run this season.

Rodriguez hit his first of the season
in the fourth, a solo drive to right-center against Doug Mathis that
put the Yankees ahead 7-0. A-Rod had gone homerless in his first 41
at-bats, his longest homerless streak at the start of a season since
beginning 1995 without one in his first 48 at-bats for Seattle.

Nick Johnson's bases-loaded walk and
Mark Teixeira's bases-loaded single put the Yankees ahead in the second.
After Posada's single and Curtis Granderson's double chased
Feldman in the third, Gardner hit an RBI single, and Granderson
scored on a throwing error by catcher Taylor Teagarden as Gardner stole
second. Jeter followed with his third homer, a two-run drive to left.

Notes
Gardner was the first Yankees
player with three infield hits in a game since Don Mattingly against
Oakland on Aug. 19, 1992, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. …
Robinson Cano was 0-for-4. He and Jeter had both gotten hits in the
first 10 games, becoming the first second-shortstop combo to each have
hits in the first nine games since 1900, according to Elias. Cano
stopped a 27-game April hitting streak, the second-longest in major
league history, one behind the Giants' Dan McGann from 1903-06. …
Teixeira was 1-for-4 and is 4-for-40 this year. The infield hit stopped
an 0-for-17 slide. … Teagarden went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and is
0-for-18 with 13 strikeouts this season.

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