Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/16/12

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees have followed a consistent formula in turning their showdown series against the Texas Rangers into a chance at a four-game sweep.

Nick Swisher again had a big hit, Freddy Garcia gave the Yankees another strong start and Eric Chavez continued his hot hitting as the Yankees beat the Rangers 3-2 in a game delayed one hour and 45 minutes by rain Wednesday.

The Yankees beat the Rangers for the third straight time to open a 2 1/2-game lead over them for the American League's best record.

Josh Hamilton smacked two home runs for the Rangers, setting a new career high with 34 for the year. Hamilton, who had twice hit 32 homers in a season, also passed the 100-RBI mark for the third time. But, as has been the case through the series, the Rangers struggled on offense beyond Hamilton's homers.

"Very surprised," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of dropping three straight. "I wasn't expecting that, but once again pitching stops everything."

Garcia (7-5) gave the Yankees their third straight strong start against the defending American League champs. With a biting slider and dipping splitter keeping the Rangers off-balance, Garcia allowed the home runs to Hamilton and little else, giving up two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked just one.

"I feel great right now," said Garcia, who's won five of his nine starts since returning to the rotation from the bullpen. "Everything is there and that's what happened today."

Along with David Phelps and Hiroki Kuroda before Garcia, Yankees starters held Texas to four runs in 20 2/3 innings in the first three games of the series. The Yankees bullpen has been even stingier, not allowing a run in 6 1/3 innings in the series.

"Amazing," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said of his team's pitching performances against the Rangers. "You have to make pitches against these guys. There really are no weak spots in this lineup. We just keep making pitches."

David Robertson followed Garcia with a perfect eighth and Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 29th save of the season.

Nelson Cruz reached on a two-out error in the ninth by Chavez, who had made a nice backhanded play to steal a hit from Cruz in the second. Chavez's throw pulled Swisher off the bag at first base, but Soriano got David Murphy on a grounder to end the game.

Chavez picked up three hits, giving him his sixth straight multi-hit game, and has had 14 hits in his last 23 at-bats. Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Scott Feldman (6-8) limited the Yankees to three runs on seven hits in six innings, all the runs coming in the third. Alexi Ogando, who gave up back-to-back homers in Tuesday's loss, came on with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and got Martin on a liner to right to end the inning.

For the third straight game, Swisher got the Yankees on the board against the Rangers. After back-to-back singles by Nix and Jeter in the third, Swisher hit a bloop double down the third-base line to make it 1-0. Curtis Granderson followed with a sacrifice fly and, one out later, Chavez hit a RBI single to make it 3-0.

Up 3-2, the Yankees threatened again in the eighth against Mike Adams on two infield singles, but the Rangers defense helped them escape the inning without a run.

Jeter popped up a bunt attempt with runners at first and second, and Adams let it bounce before throwing to second baseman Mike Olt for the first out. Olt then got Jayson Nix in a rundown, as Texas completed a 1-4-6 double play. Swisher followed with a liner up the middle, but shortstop Elvis Andrus snagged it for a snow cone catch to end the inning.

Hamilton trimmed the Yankees' lead to 3-2 with his second solo homer off Garcia in the sixth. His first had given the Rangers their first run and made it 3-1.

"I'm seeing the ball pretty good," Hamilton said. "You're seeing the ball good and you feel like you can hit pretty much anything."

NOTES: Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Vic Carapazza for arguing his called strike three against David Robertson. Replays indicated the pitch was a strike. ... Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was given a half-day off as the DH. Swisher played first in his place, with Raul Ibanez starting in left field and Ichiro Suzuki moving back to right field. ... Alex Rodriguez said Tuesday's X-ray on his fractured left hand looked good and he was scheduled for another one Sunday, the results of which were expected to help determine whether Rodriguez could begin swinging again. ... Michael Young, who had one hit in his last 13 at-bats entering Wednesday, was out of the starting lineup. Manager Ron Washington said the day off was to rest and wasn't related to performance. ... Right-hander Koji Uehara (strained lat muscle) threw 20 pitches of batting practice at Class AA Frisco (Texas) on Wednesday and had no setbacks. He could return Aug. 26 if all goes well.

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