Since being acquired from the D-backs on July 6, Brandon McCarthy has bolstered the reconstructed Yankees rotation.
With a victory against Texas last Thursday, the right-hander improved to 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts with New York, helping make up for the loss of Masahiro Tanaka to a right elbow injury.
"It's a nice feeling," McCarthy said after his third start, and second win. "It's the opposite of how I felt earlier this year, where I was a burden on my team. I was a guy that was holding things up. To come here and feel good about myself again, to contribute to a playoff race, is a great feeling."
McCarthy will be asked to help draw the Yankees even in their three-game set in Texas after the Rangers' 4-2 win on Monday night, and he'll be helped by the full-time return of slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira.
After hitting a single in a pinch-hit appearance on Monday, Teixeira is expected to be back in the lineup for Tuesday night's game. The 34-year-old third baseman has been sidelined for over a week with a lower lat strain.
Nick Martinez pitches for the Rangers. He came off the disabled list on July 22 and allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees.
"It was nice," Martinez said. "Coming off a start like that is good. We didn't get the win, but coming off the DL and having a strong start like that definitely plays a role in this next start."
Martinez only threw 67 pitches in that start, because the Rangers thought he was running out of gas. But Martinez didn't think so. And as he tries to win a spot in the rotation next season, he said he needs to finish strong.
"Show that I can pitch deep into ballgames, get myself out of some trouble, limit some big innings, continue to give my team a chance to win," Martinez said. "Going into next year, I'm still going to have to prove myself. As long as I come back and learn from this year, and show that I've learned and am able to apply it, I think I'll have a shot."
Yankees: Teixeira ready for action
Teixeira has been out the starting lineup since July 20 with the lower lat strain, and he took batting practice for the first time since then prior to Monday's game. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection as treatment, and although he was initially expected to miss just three or four days, he avoided a stint on the disabled list.
"I wasn't expecting all the little annoying things that come up. That's part of the game," Teixeira said before Monday's Yankees loss. "Hopefully this is it, and I have two healthy months to finish the season. But missing a couple of games here, a couple of games there, it's never fun."
The Yankees are excited to have Teixeira back in their lineup, with Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann hitting better lately after slow starts, and for the first time since they acquired third baseman Chase Headley last week.
"It's different," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It puts another power hitter and an outstanding first baseman [on the field]. It's a much different look."
Rangers wait on Tepesch's bullpen session
The Rangers are waiting on Nick Tepesch to throw in the bullpen before they set up their rotation beyond the three-game series with the Yankees.
Tepesch, who left his last start on Saturday with some discomfort in his left knee, will likely throw his bullpen session on Tuesday. He hasn't had any issues in the past two days, but the Rangers want to make sure before they set their rotation.
"We'll know more Wednesday how we are going to set it up," manager Ron Washington said. "He's just got to get through his bullpen [session] and have no issues."
The Rangers are currently carrying 13 pitchers, one more than normal. That includes Jerome Williams, who started against the A's last week and held them to one run in six innings. Williams likely will be used in relief until the Rangers need another starter, although with an off-day Thursday, they won't need one anytime soon, unless somebody has a physical issue.
• The Yankees have won three out of five games against the Rangers this season.
• Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is 14-for-36 with two home runs and 10 RBIs against McCarthy.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.