Bronx, NY—The Yankees continued their 2011 mastery of opponents under the mid-day sun on Thursday afternoon with a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. They raised their day won/loss record to 32-8, a percentage of .800. Under the stars, the Yankees are barely above .500 with a 39-37 mark.
The long ball was very effectively utilized by both clubs as every run of the game was scored as a result of the home run.
Starters Tyler Chatwood of L.A. and Bartolo Colon of New York were in control during the first four frames as neither team had scored.
With Erick Aybar on first as a result of a single, third baseman Albert Callespo drove a 2-2 pitch into the rightfield seats to break a scoreless tie.
One inning later, the Yanks tied the game at two. Derek Jeter led off the sixth with an infield single. The hit was his third straight in the contest and raised his batting average to .312 since returning from the DL on July 4. Curtis Granderson, the next batter, hit his 32nd homer of the season to right. Granderson homered in all three games of the series, a total of four home runs.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Grandy, “He has a lot of power. He just continues to roll for us. This is a guy that can carry you.” Despite his very large increase in homers during the last 1.5 seasons, Granderson commented, “I don’t feel like I’m any different than I was in the past.”
The Yanks took their final lead in the seventh by scoring four unearned runs. Francisco Cervelli walked; Jeter also walked; with two out, Granderson was safe on an error by second baseman Izturis to load the sacks. Robinson Cano drove in four with his fifth career grand slam. With the homer Cano reached 20 for the third straight season. Ten of the 20 were struck with two out and seven broke a tie game. Yankees captain Jeter praised the young, second sacker, “Robby’s Robby. He knows how to hit. He uses the whole field.”
The bottom of the ninth threw a scare into Yankees fans, but did not change the outcome of the contest. With runners on second and third and one out, Mariano Rivera was called to the mound. Pinch hitter Russell Branyan took Rivera’s first pitch deep to drive in three runs. Rivera retired the final two batters of the game to record his 30th save of the season.
Despite Rivera’s last three troublesome appearances, Girardi said he would be concerned only “if it happened for a month.”
Friday night’s game with Tampa pits two outstanding hurlers against one another, CC Sabathia of the Yanks and David Price of the Rays.