Angels 11, Yankees 2
NEW YORK (AP)—Aaron Sele’s pitches kept the Yankees in check, yet it was a throw by a rookie shortstop that had New York all ticked off.
Jose Guillen and Adam Kennedy homered, leading Sele and the Anaheim Angels to an 11-2 victory Wednesday night. The Yankees also lost star catcher Jorge Posada to a broken nose when he was hit in the face with Alfredo Amezaga’s submarine relay while breaking up a double play.
“I don’t think he should have gone underneath like that. I thought he could have just gone over the top,” manager Joe Torre said. “I’m not saying he wanted to hurt him, but I thought it was unnecessary to do that.”
Amezaga felt badly about the injury and said he’d like to apologize to Posada.
“I’m very upset,” Amezaga said. “He was a little late with the slide and I couldn’t go over the top. It’s part of baseball. I wasn’t trying to hit him.”
When asked whether he thought it was a dirty play, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said: “That’s nothing I can comment on, really.”
Casey Kotchman broke the game open with a three-run double in the eighth inning, and Anaheim scored five times for an 8-2 lead. The surging Angels have won 10 of 11 and have the best record in the American League at 23-11.
The Yankees lost for only the third time in 14 games. They snapped Anaheim’s nine-game winning streak Tuesday night, a 10-inning game that ended at 1:23 a.m.
Guillen and Kennedy connected off Javier Vazquez (3-4), who alternated wins and losses in his first six starts.
But this time he was bested by Sele (2-0), who allowed two runs and six hits in six innings—his third consecutive solid start since moving back into the rotation on May 1.
The 33-year-old curveballer improved to 6-10 in 24 career starts against the Yankees. He’s also 0-5 against them in the postseason.
“A lot of pitchers in baseball haven’t had a lot of success against the Yankees in this last little seven- or eight-year stretch,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But I think Aaron is pitching at a level we haven’t seen in three or four years.”
Ben Weber bounced back from a loss the previous night with a scoreless seventh, preserving a 3-2 lead. Struggling right-hander Ramon Ortiz made his first career relief appearance after 128 starts, and worked a scoreless ninth.
It wasn’t all good news for the Angels, however. All-Star slugger Troy Glaus, removed from the lineup less than an hour before the game, is headed back to California on Thursday to have his sore right knee and right shoulder examined by team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum.
“We’re going to take a step back and wait for some word from Dr. Yocum,” Scioscia said. “We’re confident Troy’s going to be back helping us, we hope it’s soon.”
Posada walked off the field under his own power in the second inning and was taken to a hospital. He had surgery to set his nose and is expected to miss at least three or four games. But the Yankees don’t think Posada will have to go on the disabled list.
“First indications are, he should be fine,” Torre said.
Guillen, back in the lineup after missing one game with a sprained right knee and ankle, was still sore before this one and concerned about the wet field at Yankee Stadium.
But he hit a two-run homer to center on the first pitch he saw from Vazquez in the first inning.
“I need to make better pitches. I’m making too many mistakes,” Vazquez said.
The Yankees got a sacrifice fly from Alex Rodriguez in the third, but Kennedy made it 3-1 with a shot into the upper deck in the fifth.
Chone Figgins and Jeff DaVanon hit consecutive doubles off Vazquez in the eighth, making it 4-2. After a double steal and two intentional walks, Kotchman lined a double to left-center off the normally reliable Paul Quantrill.
“He’ll get the ball again, don’t worry about it,” Torre said.
Vazquez was charged with five runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings.
Torre wasn’t happy with Bernie Williams, who only wound up at first when DaVanon dropped a ninth-inning popup in left field. “There’s no excuse for Bernie not running out that ball,” Torre said. … Guillen, who played with a brace on his knee, had words for Quantrill after a high-and-tight pitch in the eighth. … Kotchman got his first career hit off Mariano Rivera the night before. Kotchman is the son of Tom Kotchman, longtime manager of the Class-A Boise Hawks. “I think he’s a youngster that you can challenge,” Scioscia said. … Torre said LHP Donovan Osborne will probably start Saturdayagainst Seattle.