Angels hit 4 solo homers, beat Yankees 11-4
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Thirty runs in three games and 30 games over .500. Not a bad combination for the Los Angeles Angels, who are running away in the American League.
Vladimir Guerrero triggered an eight-run eighth inning with a go-ahead home run, leading the AL West leaders to an 11-4 rout of the sputtering New York Yankees on Saturday. The Angels, who began the day 13 games ahead of Texas in the division, also got solo homers from Mark Teixeira, Garret Anderson and Mike Napoli to erase a 2-0 deficit.
Manager Mike Scioscia’s star-studded lineup reminds Teixeira of his days with the Texas Rangers, when they had seven players with 20 or more home runs.
“That’s the thing—everyone feeds off each other and you put a lot of pressure on the pitchers,” Teixeira said. “When you look up and down our lineup and everyone’s clicking, you’re going to score a lot of runs. And we have it all going right now.”
After striking out all three times he faced Dan Giese, Guerrero led off the eighth against Edwar Ramirez (3-1) and drove the right-hander’s first pitch of the game to right-center for his 21st homer and a 4-3 lead.
“After Vladdy’s home run, I’m like, `OK, we got our one run, now let’s battle.’ Then we just kept scoring, and it was fun to watch,” Teixeira said.
Anderson added an RBI single and former Yankee Juan Rivera hit a two-run double before David Robertson relieved Ramirez. Chone Figgins singled home another run and Napoli scored on a wild pitch. Maicer Izturis then hit an RBI single and Guerrero drove in Figgins to cap the Angels’ most productive inning of the season.
Seven of the runs came with none out, five of them charged to Ramirez, who came in with a 3.02 ERA over his first 38 appearances.
“Edwar wasn’t making the quality pitches we’ve seen him make all year,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Eddie has been very good for us and we needed him to bounce back. I believe that Edwar can get anyone out when he makes his pitches. Yes, he’s had two blips in the last nine days against the Angels, but I know he’s better than that.”
Scot Shields (5-3) pitched a hitless eighth inning for the win.
Giese allowed a run and three hits over six innings and struck out five in his third big league start. The 31-year-old right-hander handed a 3-1 lead to Jose Veras, who promptly surrendered solo homers by Anderson and Napoli in the seventh.
“You feel terrible for Giese because the kid pitched great,” Girardi said. “He did nothing except what we asked him to do. He’s got (a limit of) 85 pitches and he gives us six innings and shuts down a very good offense except for one home run by Teixeira. His effort was tremendous, and it would have been great to get him the win.”
All of the Angels were relieved when they saw Giese leave the game.
“He’s got a different delivery with the pauses that he has,” Anderson said. “It’s something you just don’t see every day, so it messes up your timing and it’s hard to get a good rhythm against him. He pitched great, but eventually we got something going.”
Anderson led off the seventh with his 12th home run, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. Napoli, back in the lineup after missing 27 games because of irritation in his right shoulder, pulled the Angels even with his 13th.
In the top of the inning, Napoli was stung on the right hand by a foul tip off the bat of Alex Rodriguez. He managed to stay in the game after making a practice throw to third base, and Rodriguez struck out on John Lackey’s next pitch to strand runners at the corners.
“That foul tip came straight down. But when we saw where on the hand he was hit, we were confident he could keep playing if he got his strength back,” Scioscia said. “If it hit him in the thumb or on a bone, that’s dangerous territory. But it got him right on the palm, so we were pretty comfortable that he could finish the game.”
Lackey allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings, striking out five. The right-hander escaped jams in the fourth and fifth with two men on base, striking out Xavier Nady in the fourth and fanning Derek Jeter in the fifth before giving up back-to-back homers to Rodriguez and Jason Giambi in the sixth.
“You know that when you face John Lackey you’re in for a tough game, so you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities that you get,” Girardi said. “When you don’t, sometimes they come back to haunt you.”
Rodriguez drove Lackey’s 1-2 pitch to left-center for his 26th homer and 545th of his career to pull within three of Mike Schmidt for 12th place on the career list. Giambi then hit one out to right for his 23rd home run and 200th with the Yankees. Of Giambi’s 81 hits this season, 37 have been for extra bases.
Teixeira, whose grand slam last Sunday at Yankee Stadium was wasted in a 14-9 loss, hit a first-pitch fastball way up the batter’s eye in center field to trim the Yankees’ lead to 2-1 in the sixth.
Rodriguez is 9-for-47 lifetime against Lackey, but four of his hits have been home runs. … Angels OF Reggie Willits was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a concussion he sustained in a collision with Yankees catcher Jose Molina while scoring on a short wild pitch during Friday night’s 10-5 win. INF Sean Rodriguez was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. … Yankees C Ivan Rodriguez returned to the lineup. He missed two games with a bruised right knee after a home plate collision with Texas’ David Murphy on Wednesday night. … Melky Cabrera snapped an 0-for-18 drought with a fifth-inning single. … Izturis returned to the lineup after sitting out six games with a jammed left thumb. … Giambi was hit by a pitch for the 15th time. The Yankees club record is 24, set by Don Baylor in 1985.