Los Angeles (29-20) won for the 16th time in its last 24 regular-season meetings with New York in a 10-6 victory on Friday. The Angels have also won 12 of 16 games overall.
“We’ve held our own against them,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Scioscia won’t be there Saturday to see if the Angels can maintain their dominance. He left the team after Friday’s win to attend his son’s high school graduation in California. Bench coach Ron Roenicke will manage the final two games of this series.
Roenicke may have rookie Reggie Willits available Saturday. The outfielder, who is hitting .342 this season, has missed the last two games with a tight right hamstring but hopes to return for this contest.
New York (21-25) lost for the ninth time in its last 14 games on a day in which owner George Steinbrenner sounded off about his frustration with the club. He told The Associated Press that general manager Brian Cashman was “on a big hook” for the team’s early struggles, and took issue with Jason Giambi’s recent remarks about performance-enhancing drugs, saying the slugger “should have kept his mouth shut.”
“It’s not like every time we lose it’s ‘here we go again,’” shortstop Derek Jeter said. “It’s not like the end of the world and we’re back to playing the way we were.”
Jeter singled in the seventh inning to extend baseball’s longest current hitting streak to 19 games. He’s hitting .417 (30-for-72) during the streak, which is one shy of his 20-game run from April 8-May 3.
Chien-Ming Wang (3-3, 4.28 ERA) seeks to win his third straight start for New York. He’s posted a 2.03 ERA in his last two outings, and allowed two runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 6-2 victory over Boston on Monday.
“All he did was keep them off balance,” pitching coach Ron Guidry said. “Give ‘em something different.”
The right-hander, who missed the first three weeks of the season with a hamstring injury, is making his second career regular-season start against the Angels. He surrendered five runs and 13 hits over 5 1-3 innings in a 5-3 loss to Los Angeles on Aug. 13.
Wang also lost Game 2 of an AL Division Series on Oct. 5, 2005, to Los Angeles by giving up four runs - one earned - over 6 2-3 innings of another 5-3 defeat.
Kelvim Escobar (5-2, 2.82) gets the start for the Angels after he yielded only three hits over eight scoreless innings in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. The right-hander bounced back from a poor May 15 outing at Seattle, in which he lasted just 2 1-3 innings and gave up eight runs.
“You have to turn the page, and that’s what I did,” Escobar said.
Escobar is 3-4 with a 6.19 ERA at Yankee Stadium in 17 career appearances, including nine starts.