The New York Yankees may have the best record in baseball, but winning in Anaheim is still difficult for them.
After failing in their second attempt at clinching a playoff spot, the Yankees will try again Tuesday night when they continue a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels.
New York (95-56) could have secured at least the AL wild card with a win against Seattle on Sunday, but lost 7-1. A second chance on Monday proved just as futile, as the Yankees lost 5-2 to Los Angeles (90-60) for their ninth defeat in 10 games at Angel Stadium.
New York could also have clinched its 14th playoff berth in 15 years with a Texas loss, but the Rangers beat Oakland on Monday.
Despite the setback, the Yankees maintained a five-game lead over Boston in the AL East. The rivals will face off in the Bronx for three games this weekend.
New York will try to end any suspense about making the playoffs Tuesday, but it will have to find a way to win at a park where it traditionally struggles. The Yankees have lost all four games they’ve played at Anaheim this year, and have dropped five straight there going back to last season. New York starters are 0-4 with a 7.27 ERA during that stretch. Andy Pettitte(notes), pitching on 10 days’ rest Monday, gave up two runs in the first and finished having allowed three runs in six innings.
The Yankees have stumbled recently overall, losing six of 10. However, they maintain a 4 1/2 game lead on the Angels for the best record in the AL and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
“We’d like to get it locked up, but we haven’t been winning,” Pettitte said. “We’ve been playing so well the second half, but we’re kind of in a little lull right now. So more than anything, we just want to get it going again and get back on the winning ways.”
Los Angeles has won four of five following a three-game losing streak to reach 90 victories for the third straight season and sixth time in eight years. They are 7 1/2 games ahead of second-place Texas in the West.
Vladimir Guerrero(notes), who is hitting .356 in his last 12 games, had two hits Monday. Guerrero is batting .421 during a 13-game home hitting streak against the Yankees, and has driven in eight runs in his last seven games against them.
The right-hander pitched seven innings against Boston on Thursday, allowing three runs but not getting the decision in a 4-3 victory. Los Angeles had lost Santana’s previous four starts.
Santana is 5-2 with a 5.09 lifetime ERA against the Yankees.
Gaudin, acquired Aug. 6 from San Diego, gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-4 win over Toronto on Wednesday. Although he did not record a decision, New York has won all four of Gaudin’s starts.
The right-hander is 2-3 with a 5.89 ERA in eight career starts against the Angels. He gave up eight runs and 10 hits in three innings of an 11-6 Padres loss at Anaheim on June 12.