Anderson and the Angels look to complete their first three-game home sweep of the Yankees in more than 12 years as John Lackey tries for his major league-leading 16th win on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (74-51) is the only team with a winning record against New York since Joe Torre became Yankees manager in 1996. The Angels are 61-54 against the Yankees in that span, and also eliminated them from the playoffs in 2002 and 2005.
Anderson had the best game of his career in an 18-9 rout on Tuesday as Los Angeles improved to 6-2 against New York this year. He went 4-for-6 with a club-record 10 RBIs, including a grand slam and a three-run homer, as the Angels won their fifth straight home game.
“You enjoy the moment,” Anderson told the team’s official Web site. “But it’s just one victory, and you’ve got to put it behind you and play the game tomorrow.”
The veteran outfielder became the 12th player in major league history to drive in at least 10 runs and the first since Alex Rodriguez did it for the Yankees against the Angels on April 26, 2005. The big league record of 12 RBIs is shared by the St. Louis Cardinals’ Jim Bottomley (1924) and Mark Whiten (1993).
“It’s something a lot of guys wish would happen in a week - and he had it in one night,” said Yankees catcher Jose Molina, a former teammate of Anderson’s with the Angels.
“To me, he’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen with the bat.”
Anderson is 12-for-23 (.522) in five games against the Yankees this year, while hitting just .261 against all other opponents. Since the start of the 2002 season, he has hit .331 with 10 homers and 34 RBIs in 41 games versus New York. He’s also a career .377 hitter against Andy Pettitte, who starts Wednesday for the Yankees.
The Angels, though, haven’t swept any of their 17 home series—of three games or more—against New York since May 23-25, 1995. They swept three games at Yankee Stadium from May 25-27 this season.
Tuesday’s win kept Los Angeles two games ahead of second-place Seattle in the AL West and improved baseball’s best home record to 42-17.
Rodriguez is 5-for-10 with three homers and six RBIs in the series after homering twice Tuesday. The Yankees (70-56) fell 2 1/2 games behind Seattle for the AL wild card and six games behind first-place Boston in the AL East.
Lackey (15-7, 3.32 ERA) is trying to bounce back after having his three-game winning streak snapped on Friday in an 8-4 loss at Boston. He was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits over a season-low four innings.
“My good pitches were hit and the bad ones were hit even harder,” Lackey said.
The right-hander struggled in his first six career starts against the Yankees, going 1-5 with a 7.07 ERA. The Angels have won five of his last six starts against New York, however, with Lackey going 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA - including 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two outings this year.
That success doesn’t even include a 2.38 ERA in two postseason starts against New York in 2005. Rodriguez went 0-for-3 against Lackey in those games, and is 3-for-26 (.115) with 13 strikeouts against him since the start of the 2004 season.
Pettitte (10-7, 3.80) seeks to win his fifth straight start after turning in another gem on Friday. He allowed one run and five hits over eight innings in a 6-1 victory over Detroit, putting his ERA at 2.25 over his last four outings.
“My command’s back a little bit,” Pettitte said. “Hopefully, I can carry this out for a while.”
The left-hander is facing the Angels for the second time this season after giving up eight runs and 10 hits over five innings and not receiving a decision in a 14-9 win on July 6. He’s 11-6 with a 4.15 ERA in 21 career starts against them.