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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Anaheim, CA (Sept 12) – The New York Yankees defeated the Anaheim Angels on Sunday afternoon by the score of 6-5. Freddy Garcia made the start and did not pitch very well but he battled. The bullpen did a good job as the offense rallied. The offense came into the game not scoring a run for 16 innings. Jesus Montero started his first game in the major leagues as a catcher and Austin Romine made his major league debut.
Garcia pitched five innings giving up seven hits and five runs. He walked three and struck out three. Cory Wade who earned his fifth win and went to 5-0 pitched one perfect inning, Rafael Soriano pitched one inning giving up two hits, he struck out a batter, and Dave Robertson pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout. Rivera earned his 599th save of his career and 40th of the season pitching one inning giving up a hit.
Derek Jeter had two hits, Curtis Granderson had a hit and two RBI and Mark Teixeira had a walk and an RBI. Robinson Cano had two hits and an RBI, Jesus Montero was intentionally walked and Eric Chavez had two hits and an RBI. Andruw Jones had two walks, Eduardo Nunez had a walk and Brett Gardner had a hit and a walk. Chavez had a double, Cano and Granderson each hit a homerun. The Yankees were 1-5 with runners in scoring position and they left seven men on base. Gardner was caught stealing.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Howie Kendrick hit a two-run homerun. In the second inning, Chavez had an RBI single to cut the lead in half. In the third, Garcia threw a wild pitch to allow a run to score and give the Angels a 3-1 lead. In the fourth Cano hit a solo homerun to make it 3-2 Angels. Peter Bourjos hit a two-run homerun in the fourth inning to give the Angels a 5-2 lead. In the fifth Granderson hit a two-run homerun to make it 5-4. In the seventh Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly but the ball was dropped and two runs scored to give the Yankees a 6-5 lead and that would be the final runs in the game. The Yankees would give up a infield hit in the ninth but it would be erased by a double play to end the game.
The Yankees salvaged the final game of the three game series. The Yankees increased their lead in the AL East to 3 ½ games over the Boston Red Sox. The AL wild card is suddenly a race as the Tampa Bay Rays swept the Red Sox and are only 3 ½ behind them. The Yankees will head to Seattle to begin a three game series on Monday night. Phil Hughes will be on the mound against Felix Hernandez. The 3 ½ game lead the Yankees have is their largest of the season. The Yankees offense had been struggling, in this game, they showed signs of life, and maybe now they will come out of their slump. They have been battling fatigue and players being injured.
The Yankees have used five catchers this past week alone, that shows how beat up they have been but they found a way in this game and now they hope they can relax a little and win a few more games. The Yankees have 17 games remaining so they are in pretty good shape to wrap up a postseason spot and even the division title.