Tex's pick helps Yanks head home on high note
ANAHEIM -- On a seven-game road trip, the difference between finishing with three victories or five losses is substantial, and first baseman Mark Teixeira's deft glovework might have helped save the Yankees from a long, quiet flight back to New York on Wednesday.
Teixeira's scoop of a one-hop Chase Headley throw bailed the Yankees out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning, as left-hander Chasen Shreve continued his excellent run of relief and New York held on for a 3-1 victory over the Angels.
"That was a tough one. Those are kind of the 50-50 variety," Teixeira said. "The short ones, you should make most of them, but that was kind of one of those in-between hops that's just a do or die. You go after it. Sometimes you make them, sometimes you don't, but that was definitely one that we needed."
Nathan Eovaldi had started the inning but exited after a Johnny Giavotella single and back-to-back one-out walks to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Yankees manager Joe Girardi summoned Shreve, who had retired 54 of the 65 batters he'd faced since May 14 (18 appearances).
Shreve's good fortune continued, as Erick Aybar popped to Didi Gregorius for the second out, and David Freese grounded a ball to Headley at third base.
"I had a little trouble getting it out of my glove," Headley said. "I kind of fumbled it and just rushed my throw because I didn't have a whole lot of time when I got ahold of it. I knew I had to get rid of it, and short-hopped it over there, but he did a great job picking it out for me."
Teixeira's scoop saved Headley from what could have been the infielder's 17th error of the year.
"I saw that Chase didn't have a good grip on it, and that happens to infielders," Teixeira said. "Sometimes you just don't get a good grip. I was definitely prepared for a funky throw. It came out kind of spinning low and I knew I was going to have to pick it. I just went after it and got it."
Shreve retired three straight batters in the seventh before handing the ball off to Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances, who logged the final four outs for his seventh save.
"I always say this, that I just try to focus on the glove and make my pitches," Shreve said. "That's what you have to do. You can't think about the situation too much."
The Yankees weren't expected to arrive in New York until 7 a.m. ET on Thursday, which made them thankful for the off-day -- and for that potential crisis that was averted in the sixth inning.
"A good first baseman really helps the infielders out," Headley said of Teixeira. "He's probably, if he's not the best in the game, he's right there. He's been doing it for a long time. You just have a lot of confidence in him."