NEW YORK -- Cameron Maybin has been enjoying life at the top.The Angels' leadoff hitter homered, reached base four times, scored three runs and stole a base to help the Halos erase a four-run deficit and emerge with a 10-5 comeback win over the Yankees, securing a series victory on
NEW YORK -- Cameron Maybin has been enjoying life at the top.
The Angels' leadoff hitter homered, reached base four times, scored three runs and stole a base to help the Halos erase a four-run deficit and emerge with a 10-5 comeback win over the Yankees, securing a series victory on Thursday night in the Bronx.
"This is a team that I honestly can say is probably the most mentally tough team I've been on," Maybin said. "We just continue to just not give at-bats away, grind at-bats out, especially against the top pitchers in the league."
Maybin, who is batting .389 in 24 games atop the lineup, once again set the tone for a big offensive night, launching a leadoff homer off Yankees flamethrower Luis Severino on the second pitch of the game to stake the Angels to a lead in the first. It was Maybin's sixth homer of the season.
Though the Yankees tied it up in the bottom of the first and seized a 5-1 lead after scoring four runs off right-hander Jesse Chavez in the second, the Angels gradually chipped away at the deficit and entered the seventh down by just one run. After Cliff Pennington led off the inning with a single, Maybin hit a potential double-play ball to second baseman Starlin Castro, but the hard-hit grounder took a strange hop and skipped past Castro, putting runners on the corners with no outs for the Angels.
"I guess it hit something," Maybin said. "I was watching him talk to his guys, and he said it took a funny hop on him, so he wasn't able to make the play. But hey, that's the way the ball bounces sometimes. We'll take it. It was big."
Kole Calhoun drove in the game-tying run with a sacrifice fly, and Maybin followed by stealing second base and advancing to third on catcher Gary Sanchez's throwing error. Maybin then scored the go-ahead run after Jose Pujols lined a single to right field.
Maybin, who leads the American League in stolen bases this season, with 23, wreaked more havoc on the basepaths in the eighth, when he walked and moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Yankees reliever Domingo German. He ultimately scored on Calhoun's second sacrifice fly of the night to extend the Angels' lead to 10-5.
"I love creating chaos, making those guys frantic," Maybin said. "And you can see it tonight. I get on base, guys get worried. They get nervous. Guys behind me get good pitches, and [opposing pitchers] make mistakes on the mound, throwing balls away. That's a part of my game that I enjoy, putting it into play."
Maybin has now reached base in a career-high 26 consecutive games, boosting his on-base percentage to .387. His production in the leadoff spot has been a major reason why the Angels have been able to withstand the loss of injured superstar Michael Trout. Since Trout landed on the disabled list, the Halos have gone 12-11 and remain only 1 1/2 games out of the second AL Wild Card spot.
"We just continue to come in with that fighter's mentality," Maybin said. "Sometimes you get knocked down, but we don't get knocked out very much. We just continue to fight. I think that's what makes this team special."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.