Teixiera/AP Photo

Kevin Brown returned to the place where he broke in to the major leagues, but he was not welcomed back kindly. The Texas Rangers tagged him for five runs (four earned) in only five innings. Hopefully it was just a poor outing and not a step back for Kevin Brown. Brown's counterpart, Ryan Drese, managed to hold the Yankees to five hits over seven innings and zero runs. The Rangers held on for a 7-1 victory.

Let's face it, it is going to be tough for the Yankees to get up emotionally for every game for the next two months. They are coasting through the division and are fine-tuning for the playoffs. It is almost like an extended spring training. Unless something drastic happens, the Yankees could probably play close to .500 ball (the rest of the way) and still win the division.

Last night the Rangers came out swinging. In the bottom of the first inning the Rangers manufactured a run from a Soriano walk, a Dave Dellucci single and a Michael Young fielder's choice. Dellucci launched a two run home run in the 3rd inning off Brown, Michael Young then singled and scored on a Brian Jordan sacrifice fly. this brought the score to 4-0 at the end of three. The Rangers tacked on one more run against Brown in the fourth inning to bring the tally to 5-0.

The Yankees bats couldn't wake up, and some great defensive plays also contributed to the weak offensive output from the Yankees. John Olerud (who has been on a tear since joining the Yankees) singled home Matsui in the ninth to break up the shut-out. Alex Rodriguez was 2-4 and Hideki Matsui had three walks on the night.

The Yankees battle the Rangers again in Arlington tonight at 8:05 pm. Tanyon Sturtze (3-2, 5.27) will face Nick Regilio (03, 5.51). Sturtze is getting the start for Javier Vasquez who is out with Pink eye. Jason Giambi has received medical clearance and will bring resuming baseball activities later this week.