Yankees 6, Angels 2

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The Yankees bounced back from their bruising weekend series in Boston by winning the opener of their West Coast trip and trading unhappy Raul Mondesi.

Andy Pettitte won his career-high eighth straight decision, and Hideki Matsui went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs to lead New York over the Anaheim Angels 6-2 on Tuesday night.

“After a loss, Andy’s been pretty good. Tonight he gave us a big lift after those two losses in Boston, which was very frustrating,” manager Joe Torre said.

Robin Ventura and Jorge Posada each drove in two runs for New York, which maintained its 1 1/2 -game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East. Last weekend, Boston sliced the gap by taking two of three from the Yankees.

Mondesi angrily left the Yanks’ clubhouse at Fenway Park during Sunday night’s 6-4 defeat, after Torre pinch hit for him in the eighth inning. He did not accompany the team back to New York for the charter flight to California and made it to Anaheim on his own. Mondesi was actually smiling Tuesday as he carried a bat bag to his locker before batting practice.

During the game, Mondesi was dealt by New York to Arizona for outfielder David Dellucci and two minor leaguers.

“He’s not a bad person, and I want to make sure everybody knows that,” Torre said. “I just think he got emotional about it, but it’s not good for the club.

“To me, discipline is a big part of being a good team. And a lot of the discipline has to come from within yourself. I don’t think he thought it through.”

Pettitte (13-6) allowed two runs and nine hits in eight innings, struck out nine and walked none. Pettitte, who has 13 or more wins in each of the last eight seasons, gave up David Eckstein’s RBI single in the third and Garret Anderson’s 24th homer in the eighth.

Pettitte was staked to a 5-0 lead before giving up his first hit—a single by Robb Quinlan with one out in the third inning.

Kevin Appier (7-7) threw 42 pitches and did not make it out of the first inning, retiring only two of eight batters. He allowed five two-strike hits, including two-out RBI singles by Matsui and Posada, followed by Ventura’s two-run single with the bases loaded.

“We made it tough on Appier because he got ahead of a lot of hitters, and we just didn’t bite,” Torre said. “He kept getting around that strike zone and wasn’t missing by much, and we made him throw strikes.”

Appier’s two-thirds of an inning matched the shortest stint of his 15-year career. It happened three other times, most recently on May 13, 1996, against Texas while with Kansas City.

“Kevin threw a ton of pitches and couldn’t put guys away, so it was time to make a change,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He got into a lot of deep counts. They’ve got a club that’s patient, and when they get a ball in their zone, they don’t miss it.”

Matsui, who led off the fourth with a double and scored on Posada’s single, led off the seventh against Francisco Rodriguez with his 11th home run, making it 6-1.

“That’s the best he’s swung the bat for a while,” Torre said of Matsui. “He’s had some hits, which has kept his average in a good spot but, hopefully,we have him back to that guy who had good swings every time up.”

Notes

The Yankees took a 4-3 lead in their season series with the defending World Series champions, who beat them in the first round of last year’s playoffs. … The Angels dealt LHP Scott Schoeneweis to the Chicago White Sox for RHP Gary Glover and two minor leaguers. … The previous time Pettitte faced the Angels, on April 24, he lost 6-2 and ended a season-opening 16-0 start by the Yankees’ starting rotation. … The Yankees traded RHP Dan Miceli to Houston, four days after designated him for assignment. … Jason Giambi struck out against Appier and is 3-for-24 against him with no RBIs. … Leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano made two of the outs in the Yankees’ first, fouling out to first with the bases loaded against Scot Shields. … Anaheim RF Tim Salmonwas a late scratch because of tightness in his lower back.

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