ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The way Mark Teixeira(notes) looks at it, getting booed on the road is a badge of honor. And the brutal treatment he’s received at Angel Stadium the past three seasons would serve as the ultimate compliment to him.
Teixeira called Anaheim home for less than three months during the 2008 season before bolting for free agency. He gets booed as loudly at Angel Stadium as Alex Rodriguez(notes) does because of the abrupt way he left to sign an eight-year, $180 million contract with the Yankees.
“I would expect nothing else,” Teixeira said with a big grin. “I mean, it’s funny because I’ve answered this question at probably half the ballparks I play in. When you play well and you’re a Yankee, you get booed a lot— especially when you don’t sign with a team after you become a free agent. But I’ve always said, when I stop getting booed, that means I’m not playing well anymore and I’m out of the game. So it doesn’t really bother me.”
Teixeira increased New York’s lead to 2-0 lead in the third inning with a two-out solo homer off Joel Pineiro(notes) (2-3). He made it 4-2 in the fifth with his 18th of the season and ninth in 16 games, a towering shot to right after the right-hander walked Curtis Granderson(notes) with two outs.
“I’m just trying to be aggressive. And when I get a pitch to drive, I try not to miss it,” Teixeira said. “Sometimes when you don’t hit home runs, a lot of it is because you’re a little tired and your bat’s a little slow. But physically, I feel like we’ve had a lot of off days and I’ve taken care of myself as I always do. And my bat has felt pretty quick all season.
“I’d still like to get a few more hits because my average isn’t where I want it,” he added. “I want to hit .300 every year and I want to hit 30-plus homers every year. I mean, if my average is in the low .300s and all I’m doing is hitting home runs, then I’ve got to start looking at it. But I’m drawing walks and driving in runs, and that’s what I’m here for. And I’d love to keep this thing rolling.”
It was the ninth multihomer game by a Yankees player this season and the 30th of Teixeira’s nine-year career. New York leads the majors with 88 home runs, including Swisher’s solo shot high off the right-field pole in the eighth against Kevin Jepsen(notes).
Colon, who won a Cy Young Award with the Angels in 2005, was coming off a 5-0 victory last Monday at Oakland—his first shutout in five seasons.
The 38-year-old right-hander departed after 90 pitches with a 4-3 lead and a runner at second base before David Robertson(notes) finished the sixth, striking out Maicer Izturis(notes) with the bases loaded on his 21st pitch of the inning after a pair of two-out walks.
“I really didn’t want to walk a couple of guys, but I didn’t have my best stuff today and I had to work really hard for the outs,” Robertson said. “I couldn’t find the strike zone and I didn’t really have a good feel for my breaking ball, but I wasn’t going to give in. I was very fortunate to get out of that situation. It was a big relief, because if he puts that ball in play or gets a base hit, two or three runs could score and there goes a win for us.”
Joba Chamberlain(notes) fanned Howie Kendrick(notes) with two on to end the seventh, then pitched a hitless eighth. Mariano Rivera(notes) got three outs for his 16th save in 19 chances and the 575th of his career, 26 shy of Trevor Hoffman’s(notes) major league record.
Pineiro gave up four runs, nine hits and three walks over 6 2-3 innings and struck out four. He has lost three straight starts, following a pair of no-decisions.
“I thought I had good stuff,” Pineiro said. “You limit the long ball and maybe you have a chance to win. But they’re built off the long ball, and obviously they did that today. I guess (Teixeira) was seeing the ball well today. I thought the changeup was a good pitch, then he went and got the sinker.”
NOTES: Jeter has not struck out in his last 52 plate appearances, the longest streak of his 17-year career. His previous best was 49 straight in April 2001. … The Angels are 6 for 36 with the bases loaded. Last season they batted .297 in those situations (33 for 111). … Hanging on the wall beside the water cooler and coffee machine in the Yankees’ clubhouse was a photo of former Angels conditioning coach Jimmie Reese, which visiting clubhouse manager Bubba Hawkins dug out for this series. Reese, who died in 1994 at age 92, was a roommate of Babe Ruth’s when they were Yankees teammates in 1930 and 1931.