Ellsbury made a sliding attempt to rob Rua of a base hit, but he came up short, allowing the ball to bounce past him and roll all the way to the wall. As Rua rounded second, the Rangers' home crowd roared, almost its way of waving him home.
Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley was animated, waving his arm and signaling Rua to go home just as the Yankees started to relay the ball in. Rua slid in and beat the throw, completing the inside-the-park home run and tying the game at 5.
"That was fun to watch," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "One of the more fun plays in baseball when you're on the positive side of it. You can hear the crescendo of the fans from the time the ball is hit, and as he's rounding second, I think everybody in the ballpark was yelling for him to go. I think they might have tackled Tony if he wouldn't have sent him."
Rua said it was his first inside-the-parker at any level. He wasn't sure how far the ball had gone, but he could hear the crowd and sensed he had a chance.
"I was running through it, trying not to fall over, just trying to get there," Rua said.
It was the 25th inside-the-park home run in Rangers history, and the first since Ian Kinsler on Aug. 23, 2013, against the Chicago White Sox. It was also the seventh in the history of Globe Life Park.
Rua's home run came off Yankees starter CC Sabathia. The last Yankees pitcher to give up an inside-the-park home run to the Rangers was Ken Clay, who allowed back-to-back inside-the-parkers to Toby Harrah and Bump Wills at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 27, 1977.
It was Rua's fourth home run of the season, and by far his most difficult.
"I'd rather take my time," he said.
• Derek Holland threw 39 pitches over 1 1/3 innings Thursday in his first rehab start with Triple-A Round Rock. Holland, who was scheduled to go two innings or up to 35 pitches, allowed two runs on two hits and a walk. He also struck out three. Holland has been on the disabled list since April 11 with a subscapular strain in his left shoulder.
• Catcher Carlos Corporan also played the first game of what is expected to be a week-long rehab assignment for Round Rock. Corporan had two plate appearances, going 0-for-1 with a walk. Corporan is on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 13 with a left thumb sprain.