"It's maybe our best win of the year," Girardi said. "You look at that we didn't do much early on, and then you get three runs in the seventh and four in the ninth. Alex was a huge part of that with three home runs ... and then you get the huge hit from John Ryan."
Rodriguez's power display may dominate the highlight reels, but he noted that it took a team effort to put Murphy in a position to homer off closer Glen Perkins in the ninth, offering the Yanks their first lead of the evening.
That was crucial, especially after the Yankees took a 10-1 shellacking in Friday's series opener and appeared headed toward another blowout. Murphy said that even after Sabathia stumbled early, the Yankees were never tempted to quit.
"Combining what happened yesterday with the first few innings today, never giving up -- we've got a lot of good guys in here," Murphy said. "Everybody pulls for each other until that last out."
Teixeira manufactured New York's fourth run in the seventh, legging out a double, tagging up and advancing to third on a flyout and then scoring on Chase Headley's sac fly. In the ninth, Carlos Beltran beat out a replay-reviewed fielder's choice that helped keep him on the bases for Murphy's homer.
"Really, I'm just trying to get that run in any way I can," Murphy said. "The infield is in there, and I'm just trying to get a ball elevated to the outfield. Off the bat, I didn't think it had a chance. I just thought it was a sac fly. It kept going."
New York was down early after Sabathia served up homers to Aaron Hicks and Torii Hunter, and the big lefty departed trailing, 5-1, with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. Sabathia said that he tried to keep battling and refused to give in.
"I think early in the season, I would just ... throw the ball wherever I wanted," Sabathia said. "Today, I tried to make pitches, tried to be a pitcher and it worked out for us."
Girardi said that Sabathia didn't provide the results the Yankees were looking for, but at least he didn't let it get out of hand. The club also got a big outing from Adam Warren, who struck out Hicks to leave the bases loaded and gave the Yanks a legitimate chance to get back in the game.
"You get a huge performance, and I don't want it to be lost, from Adam Warren," Girardi said. "He was able to come in with the bases loaded and two outs and gets a huge strikeout."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.