On Tuesday morning, Chase Headley was in Chicago; getting ready to face the Cubs as a member of the San Diego Padres . By noon, he was on his way to the Big Apple, acquired by the New York Yankees in exchange for Yangervis Solarte and minor league pitcher Rafael De Paula. Minutes after midnight, he was a hero in the Bronx.
Arriving into the home dugout at Yankee Stadium during the first inning, Headley quickly introduced himself to his new teammates. It didn’t take him long to introduce himself to Yankees faithful. The 30-year-old third baseman from Fountain, Colorado came into the game in the eighth inning. He struck out swinging in his first at bat in pinstripes. In his fourth he was swinging as well; driving in Brian Roberts in the 14th for the 2-1 walk-off win over the Texas Rangers.
He almost didn’t even get the chance to do that; as the Yankees got a scare in the top of the 13th inning, when J.P. Arencibia smacked a solo shot into the visitor’s bullpen to give the Texas Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The Yankees responded however, in the bottom of the frame, when Jacoby Ellsbury singled in Brett Gardner to knot up the game. After getting on with a double, Gardner got to third after Derek Jeter laid down a sacrifice bunt.
Jeter had given the Yankees hope to win it in the ninth, when he hit a one-out double. The double was his 535th; moving the current Yankee captain past the legendary Lou Gehrig into first place on the Yankees’ illustrious all-time list. Unfortunately, Carlos Beltran hit into an inning-ending double play two batters later, leaving Jeter stranded in scoring position.
In the extra frames, the bullpens were slowly depleted. The Rangers were forced to use Nick Tepesch, who had started for them a mere two days prior. After getting Ichiro Suzuki to ground out, he was rudely welcomed to the game by Roberts; who hit a ground-rule double. Francisco Cervelli was able to move Roberts to third with a single. Headley then ended his long day with a line drive to left for a memorable single; and was quickly embraced by his victorious Yankee teammates.
Also making his Yankee debut, Jeff Francis got the win for the Yankees after pitching a scoreless 14th. The struggling 33-year-old lefty was acquired from the Oakland A’s earlier this month. Despite being 0-2 this season, the longtime Colorado Rockies starter pitched decent in his inning of work, only conceding a single.
The win, coupled with a Toronto Blue Jays loss to the Boston Red Sox, moved the Yankees into second place in the standings for suddenly-hot Al East. They now trail the division-leading Baltimore Orioles by 3.5 games.