From Kristie Rieken of The Associated Press:
HOUSTON (AP) — The Yankees blew an early six-run lead on Saturday against the Astros. Then they put their heads down and got back to work.
Brian McCann hit a grand slam and Chris Young homered to give New York an early lead, and Mark Teixeira had a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth after the Yankees squandered that cushion in a 9-6 win.
“It was one of those old-fashioned slugfests,” Teixeira said. “Whoever was going to get the big hit at the end of the game was going to win, and we did.”
McCann’s slam came in the first. A two-run shot by Young, a Houston native, that extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games, in the second off Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer put the Yankees up 6-0.
Oberholtzer was ejected with one out in the second inning for throwing at Alex Rodriguez and the Astros got going on offense after that. Chris Carter and George Springer each drove in a run in the second before Carter homered in the fourth to cut it to 6-3.
Oberholtzer was optioned to Triple-A Fresno after the game.
Both managers were unhappy with Oberholtzer’s actions.
“I think it’s a kid getting frustrated,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I definitely think he threw at Alex. You don’t want to see that. We’ve seen it before and you just move on.”
When asked if Oberholtzer was sent down because of the incident, Houston manager A.J. Hinch said it played a role in the move, but that they also needed another arm in the bullpen for Sunday’s game.
“We don’t operate that way, we won’t operate that way,” Hinch said. “It’s not a reflection of anybody around here, including Obie.”
Oberholtzer denied intentionally throwing at Rodriguez and thinks the situation escalated because of his superstar status.
Rookie Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer in the fifth and Jose Altuve connected on the next at-bat to tie it up.
Brett Gardner walked to start the eighth before Young reached on a fielder’s choice and Gardner advanced to second on an error by Altuve. Houston challenged the call at second, but it was upheld. Teixeira then doubled off Pat Neshek (3-1) with one out in the inning to put New York back on top.
Chase Headley’s solo homer off Tony Sipp in the ninth pushed the lead to 9-6.
Correa, the top pick in the 2012 draft, had three hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle.
Masahiro Tanaka had another tough start after tying career highs in hits (10) and runs (seven) and allowing a personal-worst three home runs in his last start. On Saturday, he again gave up three homers while yielding seven hits and six runs in five innings.
“I just look at it as a rough start and we’ve got to iron it out,” Girardi said. “We’ll get it ironed out. We know what he’s capable of doing.”
Springer walked with no outs in the fifth before Correa hit his fifth homer to get Houston to 6-5.
Altuve connected off Tanaka two pitches later, launching an 84 mph slider into the Crawford Boxes in left field to tie it up.
Oberholtzer’s day quickly went wrong. Gardner hit a leadoff double before consecutive walks by Young and Rodriguez loaded the bases. McCann’s one-out shot landed in the second deck in right field to make it 4-0.
Gardner doubled with one out in the second before Young’s 10th homer pushed the lead to 6-0.
Oberholtzer’s next pitch was inside on Rodriguez on and A-Rod jumped out of the way to avoid being hit. Oberholtzer was immediately ejected as Rodriguez stood at the plate with his hand on his left hip and Girardi held back pitcher CC Sabathia as he came out of the dugout yelling at Oberholtzer and both dugouts were warned.
Oberholtzer stomped to the dugout where he threw his glove against the wall and knocked over some paper cups in anger. He allowed four hits, six runs and walked three in his shortest start of the season.
Astros: RHP Scott Feldman, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on May 29, faced a couple of hitters throwing off the mound on Saturday and manager A.J. Hinch said he looked good. Hinch said he’ll do a more aggressive live bullpen session in a couple of days. … OF Colby Rasmus was scratched from the lineup with a skin infection, but Hinch said he should return Sunday.
Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury, out since May 19 with a sprained right knee, was in Houston on Saturday to work out so the team can gauge where’s he’s at in his recovery. Girardi said he’ll also work out on Sunday before they decide if he’s ready for a rehabilitation assignment.
New York’s Michael Pineda (8-4) looks to bounce back after struggling in his last start when he opposes Collin McHugh (8-3) in the finale of the series. Pineda allowed 11 hits and eight runs — both career highs — in a loss to Philadelphia on Monday. McHugh has won two in a row.
Associated Press photos