NEW YORK — The Yankees' four-game set against the AL-leading Rangers started Monday with what Chase Headley called maybe the toughest loss of his career.
Wednesday, Texas was two outs from winning the first three games. Yet the series ended Thursday with New York somehow earning a split when Headley scampered home on a passed ball for his team's second straight victory in the bottom of the ninth.
Headley just beat the throw with two outs for a 2-1 win. Four Yankees pitchers combined to strike out 16 Rangers — 12 by starter Michael Pineda.
Reliever Tony Barnette walked Headley to lead off the bottom of the ninth. With runners on second and third and two outs, Robinson Chirinos dropped a fastball from Barnette. Headley thought Chirinos might try to throw behind him, and he started to take a half-step back before he saw the ball squirt away.
"Once it got by, though, there's no going back," he said. "You just hope that you make it."
Chirinos said he knew which pitch was coming and its location. "It's my fault," he said.
Barnette blamed himself for the leadoff walk.
"It's unacceptable," he said. "You walk a guy to start an inning, most of the time he's going to score."
Didi Gregorius hit a solo shot in the fifth to tie the score. Shin-Soo Choo had homered to lead off the game. Aroldis Chapman worked around Adrian Beltre's leadoff single in the top of the ninth to earn the win.