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David Brown

A-Rod homers, Rivera holds, Yankees let Angels beat selves

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Score and situation: Yankees 4, Angels 3 (13 inn.) New York leads series, 2-0

Leading lads: On another wet and chilly night in the Bronx, Chone Figgins'(notes) RBI single (his first hit of the playoffs) gave the Angels a go-ahead run in the 11th. It came, not coincidentally, after closer Mariano Rivera's(notes) 2 1/3 scoreless-innings stint — his longest outing in more than three years — was over. With two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Alex Rodriguez(notes) continued his late-season tear by lining a tying solo homer to right, just over the reaching glove of Bobby Abreu(notes) and into the seats. With Joe Girardi's bench and bullpen dwindling, Jerry Hairston started the bottom of the 13th with a sharp single against Ervin Santana(notes). Hairston would score when the Angels made yet another mistake.

Head hangers: Closer Brian Fuentes(notes) had A-Rod down 0-2 and left a pitch up he could drive over the short porch in right. ... Vladimir Guerrero(notes) personally stranded eight baserunners, including the bases loaded when Joba Chamberlain struck him out in the seventh. The Angels left 16 runners overall. ... Maicer Izturis(notes), joining teammates in a mistake-filled series, made a costly ill-advised throw. Why didn't A.J. Burnett(notes) go pie Izturis?

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Key play: What in the world of bonehead plays was Izturis (above, right) thinking in the bottom of the 13th? The Angels' infielder had an easy out if he just throws to first base — the direction in which his momentum carried him — on Melky Cabrera's(notes) one-out grounder. Instead, Izturis tries to get the middle runner on a force play at second base and his throw goes wide of Aybar for an error. The Yankees' Hairston, who started the play at second base, came around to easily score the winning run. Hairston later got the pie in the face from Burnett, who started and pitched well in the 5-hour, 10-minute opus.

Key stat: The Angels have made five errors in the series, not counting the Figgins/Aybar drop in Game 1 and other miscues.

What they're talking about: A-Rod continuing to hit "in the clutch" and becoming a "real Yankee." ... The Angels forgetting how to play defense. ... Umpire Jerry Layne not giving Aybar credit for the "neighborhood play" on a double-play ball that, thankfully, didn't determine the outcome. ... Fox announcer Joe Buck getting into the "fisted" world of TBS' broadcaster Chip Caray.

What they're saying:

"Izzy just tried to do too much. You're not going to turn two." — Angels manager Mike Scioscia.

"Wow. What a game." — Alex Rodriguez.

What's next: Back on the Left Coast, Jered Weaver(notes) pitches to put the Angels on the board in the series, against playoff stalwart Andy Pettitte(notes), at 2:13 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Monday.

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League type:
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Draft time:
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