NEW YORK (AP) – Hideki Matsui beat a rainstorm with a three-run homer that gave New York the lead, Alex Rodriguez hit his fifth home run in eight days and the Yankees defeated the Texas Rangers 10-3 Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.

In a game delayed twice by rain, the Rangers lost their seventh straight. They were one out from an official game and a possible 3-2 victory with dark clouds hovering over Yankee Stadium when New York batted in the fifth.

Texas starter Joaquin Benoit (3-2) retired the first two batters, then walked Gary Sheffield and Rodriguez. Sidearming left-hander Brian Shouse relieved and, with rain beginning to fall, the lefty-swinging Matsui hit his 19th home run on a two-strike pitch, putting the Yankees in front and making it an official game.

Shouse then walked Jason Giambi. Jorge Posada and Bernie Williams followed with hits, making it 6-3. Posada scored on a wild pitch in a driving rain and play was suspended for the first time.

The game resumed after a delay of 1 hour, 6 minutes.

In the sixth, Derek Jeter walked and Rodriguez hit his 35th home run, upping the lead to 9-3.

An inning later, rain again halted play for 26 minutes.

Shawn Chacon (1-1), one of the emergency starters the Yankees have added to a patchwork pitching staff, earned the victory, allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings. It was his fourth start as a Yankee and it ended a personal eight-game losing streak that began when he was with Colorado. He had not won in his previous 12 starts dating to April 23 when he beat the Los Angeles Dodgers for the Rockies.

The Yankees scored an unearned run in the first inning after Rangers left fielder David Dellucci dropped Robinson Cano’s long fly ball for a two-base error. After Cano moved to third on a fly ball, Rodriguez delivered an RBI single to right field.

Giambi opened the second with a walk and went to third on Posada’s double into the right-field corner. Williams singled for one run but Benoit retired the next three hitters, leaving two runners on base.

Texas got on the scoreboard in the third when Gary Matthews Jr. doubled, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Rod Barajas.

In the fifth, Matthews doubled again and came home on Barajas’ 11th home run.

Notes: The gametime temperature was 94 degrees. … The crowd of 54,824 pushed the Yankees’ attendance past 3 million for the seventh consecutive season. It was the team’s 22nd consecutive sellout and 33rd this year in 61 home games. … Benoit threw 104 pitches in 4 2-3 innings. … Giambi walked three times. Posada, Rodriguez and Williams each had three hits.

AP-ES-08-14-05 1808EDT


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