The Texas Rangers beat the New Yankees 8-1 on Saturday behind another win by 32-year-old rookie Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who said that even he is surprising himself (video by Jeff Wilson). jwilson@star-telegram.com
The Texas Rangers beat the New Yankees 8-1 on Saturday behind another win by 32-year-old rookie Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who said that even he is surprising himself (video by Jeff Wilson). jwilson@star-telegram.com

Texas Rangers

Bibens-Dirkx does it again, leading Rangers past Yankees

June 24, 2017 05:34 PM

UPDATED June 26, 2017 05:44 PM

NEW YORK

Only Austin Bibens-Dirkx knows how long his career bucket list is, but suffice it to say that after 12 years in the minors the list probably takes up a page or two.

Or maybe the whole notebook.

Included was what happened Saturday afternoon, when the Texas Rangers gave him the ball for his first career start at Yankee Stadium. Even the new home of the Bronx Bombers is pretty shiny for visiting ballplayers, especially first-timers.

I haven’t even been here two months yet, but I’ve pitched in places like Fenway and now Yankee Stadium.

Rookie right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx

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Not only did Bibens-Dirkx pitch at Yankee Stadium, he was pretty shiny himself.

The right-hander turned his fifth career start into another victory, allowing one run in an efficient seven innings as the Rangers rebounded from Friday’s walk-off loss to beat the New York Yankees 8-1.

Carlos Gomez knocked a two-run homer and Robinson Chirinos connected for a solo shot to back Bibens-Dirkx, who in the past month has outdueled Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, pitched at Fenway Park and won on baseball’s biggest stage.

He’s a 32-year-old rookie, but he’s been in the game for 12 years.

“I’ve been around for a while and I’ve seen all over in different countries, and I attribute a lot to pitching in winter ball ... because those guys can really hit and it teaches you to pitch,” Bibens-Dirkx said. “I try to throw everything consistently for strikes. I’m able to mix pitches, and I try to be unpredictable.”

Jeff Banister praises what Austin Bibens-Dirkx has done for Rangers

Austin Bibens-Dirkx starred again Saturday for the Texas Rangers, and manager Jeff Banister is thrilled by how the right-hander has performed (video by Jeff Wilson).

Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

He needed only 93 pitches to get 21 outs, and he never faced more than four batters in any inning. His only walk was to the Yankees’ first batter, Mason Williams, on four pitches, but that and a sixth-inning homer by Aaron Judge were the only major blemishes on Bibens-Dirkx’s pitching line.

“I was happy to get out of that first inning without any damage,” said Bibens-Dirkx, who allowed five hits. “I settled down, and I was able to make some pitches.”

The Yankees managed to put a runner on base in six of Bibens-Dirkx’s seven innings, but only three times did a runner reach second. One was on Judge’s MLB-leading 26th homer, and Williams did it in the first and third.

He’s spreading it around and utilizing all his pitches in all counts.

Manager Jeff Banister on Bibens-Dirkx

Bibens-Dirkx never blinked and ran his record to 3-0 with a 3.68 ERA. He admitted that his performance since being promoted from Triple A Round Rock on May 7 has surprised him some, but the surprise element is likely gone across the league.

“It’s still kind of surreal,” he said. “I haven’t even been here two months yet, but I’ve pitched in places like Fenway and now Yankee Stadium. I pitched against one of the best offenses in the Nationals.

“What surprises me is that I’m not changing anything. That was one of the first things I was told: ‘Don’t change anything. Just do what you do and you’ll be successful.’ That’s one thing I’ve really had to take to heart and has worked out well for me.”

And it’s clear to his teammates that he is an integral part of the team after coming to the Rangers as a journeyman.

“I really respect that because that’s not easy,” said outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who spent seven seasons in the minor leagues. “I’m really happy for him. He has a lot of experience in a lot of different leagues. That’s really big for him.”

Choo doubled in two runs in the ninth inning as the Rangers ran away for their 10th win in 15 games. Elvis Andrus drove in two runs, including the game’s first and last tallies, and Gomez and Chirinos each hit their 10th homer of the season.

6 Home runs for center fielder Carlos Gomez since returning from the disabled list June 16

Gomez’s blast was a two-run shot in the third that grew the Rangers’ lead to 3-0. The center fielder has six home runs and 16 RBIs since coming off the disabled list June 16.

“He has been extremely impressive,” manager Jeff Banister said. “When he’s going well, he stays on his legs really well and stays balanced, sees the ball up and gets the barrel to the baseball.”

Bibens-Dirkx, meanwhile, avoided barrels Saturday as he crossed a few more items off his bucket list.

What he’s doing should no longer come as a surprise.

“He’s spreading it around and utilizing all his pitches in all counts,” Banister said. “I’ve got to believe that early on there was a lot of the unknown for him, but as he continues to pitch, I think you’ve got to believe in what he’s doing and how he’s doing it.”

Texas

100

200

104

8

8

0

New York

000

001

000

1

5

0

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields lf

4

2

1

0

1

0

.291

Choo rf

5

1

1

2

0

2

.256

Andrus dh

5

0

2

2

0

0

.292

Beltre 3b

4

0

2

0

1

1

.286

Odor 2b

4

1

0

0

0

2

.209

Gomez cf

3

2

1

2

1

2

.262

Napoli 1b

4

0

0

0

0

1

.196

Chirinos c

3

2

1

1

1

2

.242

Kozma ss

3

0

0

0

0

2

.118

Totals 35

8

8

7

4

12

New York AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Williams cf

3

0

1

0

1

0

.250

Hicks lf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.288

Judge rf

4

1

1

1

0

1

.328

Holliday dh

4

0

0

0

0

1

.262

Castro 2b

4

0

1

0

0

1

.315

Gregorius ss

3

0

1

0

0

0

.313

Austin 1b

3

0

0

0

0

2

.000

Torreyes 3b

3

0

0

0

0

0

.286

Romine c

3

0

1

0

0

0

.239

Totals 31

1

5

1

1

6

LOB—Texas 5, New York 4. 2B—Choo (5), Andrus (18), Beltre (7). HR—Gomez (10), off Cessa; Chirinos (10), off Holder; Judge (26), off Bibens-Dirkx. RBIs—Choo 2 (36), Andrus 2 (40), Gomez 2 (29), Chirinos (23), Judge (58). SB—DeShields (18), Gomez (6), Williams 2 (2). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 3 (Beltre, Gomez, Napoli); New York 2 (Judge, Holliday). RISP—Texas 3 for 11; New York 0 for 4. Runners moved up—Odor, Napoli. GIDP—Austin. DP—Texas 1 (Kozma, Odor, Napoli).

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Bibens-Dirkx, W, 3-0

7

5

1

1

1

3

93

3.68

Claudio, H, 5

1

0

0

0

0

1

11

2.15

Kela

1

0

0

0

0

2

14

2.83

New York

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Cessa, L, 0-2

5

3

3

3

2

8

86

6.57

Holder

1 2/3

2

1

1

0

2

27

3.86

Webb

1 1/3

0

0

0

0

1

17

0.00

Clippard

1

3

4

4

2

1

36

4.85

HBP—Cessa (Kozma). WP—Clippard. Umpires—Home, Kerwin Danley; First, Tripp Gibson; Second, Nic Lentz; Third, Dan Iassogna. T—3:03. A—40,225 (49,642).

Rangers at Yankees

1:05 p.m. Sunday, FSSW