NEW YORK -- Prior to Tuesday's game against the Rangers, Yankees manager Joe Girardi offered up a not-so-bold prediction.

"Obviously, there is going to be another error at some point," Girardi said, referring to the record 18 straight games his team had played without making one.

Little did he know that an error would come so soon, in the fourth inning of Tuesday's 12-3 win over the Rangers at Yankee Stadium. After Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus broke for second on a stolen base attempt, Jorge Posada fired a throw wide of the bag and into center field.

Andrus went to third, and the Yankees committed their first error in 19 games.

"I really messed that one up," Posada said. "I tried to rush the throw, and I threw the ball into center field."

Still, the team's 18 consecutive games without an error bested a record set in 2006 by the Red Sox, who lasted 17 games without a miscue. And Posada's errant throw marked the first Yankees error since shortstop Ramiro Pena misplayed a grounder in Toronto on May 13.

"It was something I wasn't aware of until [Monday], so shame on me, I guess," Girardi said. "But I am proud of what our guys have accomplished. I think it's due to the hard work of the players and the coaches and the work that they put in. I think it is one of the reasons that we are playing well. We're not giving teams a whole lot of extra outs. And as we all know in the American League, extra outs can lead to big innings, and that's dangerous."

The error was Posada's second in 22 games this year, after he missed a chunk of the season with a hamstring injury. He helped make up for the error with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, including a three-run homer in the sixth inning.

And despite the gaffe, Girardi said he didn't expect the Yankees to begin playing shoddy defense anytime soon. The Bombers rank second in the league with only 21 errors. Only the Twins have committed less errors (19).

A broken record
Before Jorge Posada committed a throwing error in the fourth inning on Tuesday, the Yankees had not committed an error since Ramiro Pena booted a ground ball while playing shortstop on May 13 in Toronto. New York had handled 662 total chances in 168 2/3 innings of play, recording 506 putouts and completing 163 assists with 13 double plays. The Yankees went 14-4 during their Major League record 18-game errorless streak.
Date
Result
May 14NYY 3, TOR 2
May 15NYY 5, MIN 4
May 16NYY 6, MIN 4
May 17NYY 3, MIN 2
May 18NYY 7, MIN 6
May 19NYY 9, BAL 1
May 20NYY 11, BAL 4
May 21NYY 7, BAL 4
May 22PHI 7, NYY 3
May 23NYY 5, PHI 4
May 24PHI 3, NYY 2
May 25NYY 11, TEX 1
May 26TEX 7, NYY 3
May 27NYY 9, TEX 2
May 29NYY 3, CLE 1
May 30NYY 10, CLE 5
May 31CLE 5, NYY 4
June 1NYY 5, CLE 2

New York's .989 fielding percentage is tied for second in the AL with the Blue Jays. The Twins lead with a .990 fielding percentage.

"I think the consistency of your defense can play the whole season," Girardi said. "A lot of it is mental preparation, I believe, and physical preparation. There's going to be some tough balls that are hit. There are going to be some tough plays. But I think defense is one of those things that you can control a lot better than maybe some of the other parts of the game."

"We've been playing great defense all year," first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "It just so happens that 18 in a row, we didn't make an error. That's important, because our pitching has been great."

Andy Pettitte credited much of the defensive improvement to the addition of Teixeira, a two-time Gold Glove winner.

"How many runs has he saved already this year on balls that might have got down the line or balls that got by him that could have scored runs?" Pettitte said. "It's been a huge asset to this team, already."