Game Two: Yanks 5 Angels 3
NEW YORK — The Yankees proved Saturday that they are everything the Angels are not.
Los Angeles’ youth movement, backed by the electric Mike Trout, drew five hits and worked five walks off New York starter Freddy Garcia, wearing down the 35-year-old right-hander after just five innings by consistently forcing him to labor while the Angels occupied the basepaths.
But the Yankees needed just four at-bats to back Garcia in their 5-3 win at Yankee Stadium. A leadoff single by Derek Jeter in the bottom of the first was followed by Robinson Cano’s 21st home run of the season, and Curtis Granderson added another two-run shot in the third after Chris Stewart singled to lead off the inning.
“This is a team that always hits a lot of home runs,” Cano said. “We’re doing that with men on base.”
New York has come under fire this season for not playing enough “small ball,” and its players haven’t been shy about stating the team is fine with relying on the home run to generate its offense. Against the Angels — 30-15 over their last 45 contests — the Yankees have continued to prove that strategy works, launching four home runs, accounting for nine RBIs, in the first two games of this series.
While the Angels certainly don’t lack power, Saturday they played small ball. Angels right fielder Mark Trumbo fell short of his attempt at a record six straight games against New York with a home run, and it was the Yankees who provided all the power.
“Jerome, although he gave up a couple of home runs, pitched much better than his line score shows,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of his starter, Jerome Williams.
The Yankees have been doing that to a lot of pitchers lately. New York’s offense now leads the Major Leagues with 138 home runs this season, and 37 in its last 20 games. Although the Angels forced the veteran Garcia to battle through tough situations for much of his afternoon, the Yankees’ offense — as it has all season — backed the pitching staff with its wealth of power.
“We had some good looks early, and obviously got a couple of runs on the board early, but he changed speeds and got through five innings,” Scioscia said. “[Williams] made a couple of mistakes, on a changeup to Cano and on a breaking ball to Granderson, and those guys hit the ball out of the park.”
The Angels did their best to run up Garcia’s pitch count early, as Trout and Erick Aybar led off the game with back-to-back singles. Both eventually came around to score on Alberto Callaspo’s two-out single.
To Garcia’s relief, the Yankees answered right back, evening the score with Cano’s home run — his 11th in his last 20 home games — in the bottom half of the frame. The Yankees have scored in the first inning in nine of their last 12 games.
“It’s good to help the team win games and tie the game early,” Cano said. “We’ve been like they score, we score. That’s what you want. You want to support your starter right away.”
Garcia ran into more trouble in the top of the fourth, when Bobby Wilson’s ground ball to short scored Howie Kendrick. He then allowed Trout, who went 3-for-5 on the day, to single and steal his way to third, before getting Albert Pujols to ground out to end the inning.
While flirting with 100 pitches in the fifth, Garcia gave up a long drive to the warning track off the bat of Kendrick, but right fielder Nick Swisher made a leaping catch at the wall for the second time in the series, robbing the Angels’ second baseman of a potential extra-base hit with Kendrys Morales on first.
“It’s not like I had bad command,” Garcia said. “I know I gave up five walks, but those guys don’t swing at a bad pitch. I tried to make a good pitch and hit the curveball. They’re a pretty tough lineup.”….Read More
Box Score and Highlights:
Game One: Yanks 6 Angels 5
NEW YORK — As owners of the best record in baseball, it’s obvious that the Yankees do a lot of things well — like hitting home runs, for instance. It’s equally obvious, though sometimes masked by their record, what they don’t do well — such as struggling with runners in scoring position.
But when the Yankees hit the ball out of the park, the latter just really doesn’t matter.
New York came up empty after back-to-back leadoff extra-base hits in both the sixth and seventh innings, but trailing by three runs in the bottom of the eighth, the third time proved to be the charm. Mark Teixeria hit a game-tying three-run home run and Russell Martin gave the Yankees the lead with an RBI single five batters later off of Kevin Jepsen, snapping what was an 0-for-8 start with runners in scoring position and propelling New York to a come-from-behind, 6-5 win over the Angels on Friday night.
“I feel a lot better now than I did before the game,” said Martin, who has been mired in a career-worst slump that included an 0-for-30 rut and saw his average dip as low as .176.
“It’s a good way to start the second half — a ‘W’ and I’m starting to feel a little bit better about myself. It’s never a bad thing.”
Martin’s RBI single was ultimately classified as the game-winning hit, but the catcher actually ended the game in the top of the ninth with his defense. Howie Kendrick, who had singled earlier in the frame, tried to advance when a pitch from Rafael Soriano got away from Martin, but the catcher recovered and made a strong throw to second for the game’s final out.
“I always talk about how players want to feel like they’re contributing, and he had a great night tonight,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He threw three guys out. He had the game-winning hit. He had good at-bats. He did a good job with [Hiroki] Kuroda. He had a great night.”
Teixeira’s jack — his 17th of the season and second of the night — came off reliever Scott Downs, who came in to open the eighth after Angels starter C.J. Wilson held the Yankees to just two runs in seven innings. Teixeira finished the night with five RBIs for the third time this season — he hit a two-run homer off Wilson in the bottom of the third — all three of which have been multihomer games.
“It’s all about the wins, it really is,” Teixeira said. “I don’t mind hitting two homers, but the win is the most important thing, because that’s a really good team over there, C.J. Wilson’s one of the best left-handers in baseball. Down three runs with their bullpen, not a lot of teams come back, and we did tonight.”
Ahead 4-2 in the top of the eighth, Albert Pujols added to the Angels’ lead with an RBI ground-rule double. Two batters later, Mark Trumbo — who hit a three-run go-ahead blast in the top of the seventh — sent a deep fly ball to right field, but Nick Swisher made a leaping catch at the wall to end the inning and keep the deficit at three runs….Read More
Box Score and Highlights: