After rough first, Gallardo finds his groove

Righty allows two runs, then shuts Yanks down

After rough first, Gallardo finds his groove

NEW YORK -- Rangers pitcher Yovani Gallardo, given a one-run lead, got off to a rough start in his Yankee Stadium debut on Sunday night. Five of the first six Yankees faced reached base on shortstop Elvis Andrus' error, three singles and a walk.

The first out came when Brett Gardner, who reached on the error, was thrown out trying to go from first to third on Chase Headley's single by center fielder Leonys Martin. Alex Rodriguez followed with a single, both runners moved up on Mark Teixeira's grounder to first and Brian McCann's two-out, two-run single erased the Rangers' lead.

Gallardo then walked Garrett Jones but struck out Chris Young. From then on, Gallardo was outstanding and ended up as the winning pitcher in the Rangers' 5-2 victory over the Yankees.

McCann's two-run single

Gallardo went six innings, threw 95 pitches and is 4-6 with a 4.13 ERA.

Manager Jeff Banister said Gallardo's cut fastball was the key. Gallardo was able to pound the ball inside against a lineup that had six hitters swinging from the left side.

"That allowed him to use the secondary stuff and expand the strike zone," Banister said.

Gallardo said his curveball made the difference.

"I was able to use my curveball on first pitch to get ahead of hitters or behind in the count," Gallardo said. "When I did leave my fastball over the plate, the hitters' timing was off just a little bit."

Either way, Gallardo was terrific once he got through the first inning.

"We didn't help him out in the first inning," Banister said.

Gallardo allowed just two baserunners after the first inning. Didi Gregorius reached on an error to start the second and Jones led off the fourth with a single. Jones didn't stay on base as Gallardo induced Young to ground into a double play. Gallardo retired the last eight batters faced, including striking out the side in the fifth.

The bullpen finished off the night with Keone Kela, Ross Ohlendorf, Sam Freeman and Shawn Tolleson combining for three scoreless innings.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.