Matchups at Angel Stadium had mostly been disappointing for the New York Yankees in past years. Strong pitching, though, has suddenly given them more reason to be confident there.
The Yankees look to win their second straight road series against the Angels as they wrap up a three-game set Sunday.
New York (12-5) won two of three games at Los Angeles in September and tied this series with a 7-1 win Saturday, putting it in position to win two straight road series versus the Angels (9-10) for the first time since taking three in a row from 2003-04.
The Yankees lost their previous seven road series against the Angles and dropped two of three games at Anaheim in each of the teams’ two playoff series during that stretch, including October’s AL championship series.
New York has a 3.34 ERA in its last four games at Angel Stadium, winning three.
But Javier Vazquez(notes) (1-2, 8.27 ERA), set to take the mound for the Yankees, struggled at home against the Angels in his second start of the season, allowing four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-3 loss April 14.
The veteran right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.51 ERA in five starts against Los Angeles.
Vazquez bounced back with his first win, giving up three runs and striking out six in 5 1-3 innings of a 7-3 victory over Oakland on Tuesday night.
“My mechanical stuff still is off but it was an improvement from my first couple starts,” Vazquez said. “That’s my weakness, mechanics, through my career. I just need to get it back. The first two games were tough. I can’t hide that, but it’s still early in the season and there are still a lot of games to be played.”
Vazquez got six runs to work with after receiving three in his previous two outings.
The Yankees’ lineup is coming off one of its most productive games of the season, getting four hits from Robinson Cano(notes). The second baseman is 11 for 21 (.524) with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs in five games against the Angels this season.
Cano, though, is batting .207 (6 for 29) with nine strikeouts against Scott Kazmir(notes) (1-1, 7.45), who is taking the mound for the Angels. Kazmir struggled against the Yankees in his first start of the season, giving up six runs and eight hits - three homers - in four innings of 6-2 loss April 15.
The left-hander rebounded Tuesday night, yielding two runs and striking out seven in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-5 win over Detroit on Tuesday night.
Kazmir is 6-6 with a 3.14 ERA in 15 starts and one relief appearance versus New York.
The Angels, who have lost three of four and have a 5.00 ERA over their last five games, could certainly use a boost from Kazmir.
At the plate, Los Angeles is trying to avoid another poor game. The Angels were held to one run for the second time this season.