The Yankees hope to take a step closer to the .500 mark on Sunday afternoon when they close a three-game series against the first-place Angels.
In 12 seasons under manager Joe Torre, the Yankees have won four World Series, six pennants and 10 AL East titles. They also have a winning record against every American League team in that span except the Angels.
The Angels are 59-53 against Torre’s Yankees during the regular season, including 32-25 at Yankee Stadium. Los Angeles has won 19 of the last 28 meetings and four of five this season.
The outcome wasn’t decided until the 13th inning, when Miguel Cairo made two errors on one play, allowing the Angels to come away with a 2-1 victory.
Cairo, subbing at first for ailing Andy Phillips, made three of New York’s five errors, the most for the Yankees in nearly five years.
“The nature of the errors - it wasn’t like they were sloppy,” Torre said. “Guys made diving plays to stop balls. Sure, it cost you a ballgame, but it’s certainly not something I’m going to dwell on for sure, because these guys played their tails off.”
The loss prevented the Yankees (41-43) from reaching .500 for the first time since a loss in San Francisco on June 23. They have won five of nine on their 10-game homestand, but are assured of heading into the All-Star break with a losing record for the first time since 1995.
The Angels (53-34) won for just the fourth time in 11 games following a 7-1 stretch. The victory allowed them to maintain a 3 1/2-game lead over surging Seattle in the AL West.
“We just pitched extraordinary baseball today for 13 innings against a terrific lineup - and that’s really the story,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Chien-Ming Wang (8-4, 3.58 ERA) will try to lead New York to its second straight series win. Although he matched a season high with four walks, Wang limited Minnesota to four hits over seven innings and struck out three Tuesday in an 8-0 victory. The right-hander is 5-0 in his last seven starts and has won seven of his last eight decisions.
Wang has pitched at least 6 1-3 innings in all but one of his 14 starts this season.
He allowed three runs over eight innings in a 3-1 loss to the Angels on May 26, and is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in two career starts against them.
Los Angeles’ Ervin Santana (5-9, 5.35) will try to win for the first time in almost a month. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.62 ERA in his last four starts overall and has one win in his past six outings. He has pitched particularly poorly away from home, going 1-7 with a 7.45 ERA in nine road starts.
Santana had a career-high 11 strikeouts Tuesday in an 8-3 loss at Texas, but allowed five runs and seven hits and left after 5 1-3 innings.
He has won all four of his career starts against the Yankees, posting a 3.47 ERA. He gave up one run over 6 1-3 innings in his only appearance at Yankee Stadium, a 4-1 Angels victory on July 29, 2005.