Eovaldi quiets Angels as Yankees snap skid
ANAHEIM -- Nathan Eovaldi tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings, and Garrett Jones smacked a long solo home run off Matt Shoemaker, helping the Yankees avoid a sweep by the Angels with a 3-1 win Wednesday at Angel Stadium. The Yankees stayed within a half-game of the first-place Orioles in the American League East.
Shoemaker pitched a solid game for the Angels, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings, on Chase Headley's RBI single in the third and Jones' homer in the sixth. The Angels had some early opportunities to put runs on the board but couldn't come up with a breakthrough hit -- struggling with runners in scoring position as they had all series -- as they had a four-game winning streak come to an end.
"I thought we very easily could have won two out of three against them, but they're playing great," Headley said. "They're making great plays, they're pitching well, so to be able to come out with this one was a nice win for us."
The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the eighth against Angels reliever Jose Alvarez, with Didi Gregorius singling home Brian McCann with the bases loaded. Mike Trout got the Angels on the board in the bottom of the inning with a homer to right field, his 21st of the season -- second in the American League behind teammate Albert Pujols' 24.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Putting out the fire: The Angels threatened in the sixth inning as Eovaldi permitted a leadoff single and then walked both Trout and Pujols, loading the bases and drawing manager Joe Girardi from the dugout. Reliever Chasen Shreve entered and retired Erick Aybar on an infield popup and then got David Freese to ground to third base, with first baseman Mark Teixeira saving an error by scooping Headley's one-hop throw.
"It's easy to let that situation get in your head, so I just try to focus on the glove," Shreve said. "It gets your adrenaline going for sure, but I just try to stay focused and make my pitches." More >
Shoemaker hurt by long ball again: Despite his mostly effective outing, Shoemaker looked disappointed after allowing the home run to Jones, and in the Angels' dugout after coming out of the game. Shoemaker had been plagued by home runs this season, and had been working hard between starts at keeping his fastball down in the strike zone. Jones' homer came on a 92-mph fastball that leaked up in the zone.
"It's always tough [to sweep]," Shoemaker said. "But we had a great game plan together. We knew we wanted to go out there and attack, and for the most part, except for a pitch or two, we did it."
At last, more than one: The Yankees were held to one run in each of their previous three games, one in Houston and two here, an unwelcome string that they snapped in the sixth inning when Jones' fifth home run of the season landed in the right-field seats. New York added an insurance run in the eighth on Gregorius' soft single to center.
"It was big," Jones said. "The game of baseball is funny. I feel like we've been hitting balls hard. It's not like we're going up there striking out or not squaring up balls. When we do square up balls, it's like they're right at somebody. Guys are diving and making great catches. It's part of the game right now. We're trying to do everything we can to get out of that funk."
No-scoring position: Stranding Aybar on second base in the ninth inning brought the Angels' numbers with runners in scoring position to 0-for-9 in the game and 0-for-23 in the series. The Angels were 7-for-75 -- an .093 average -- with runners in scoring position on the nine-game homestand that wrapped Wednesday.
"A little disappointing this afternoon, not quite doing enough to get it done," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But we're doing some important things -- we're pitching well, playing defense -- and if the hitting catches up to where we are, I think you're gonna see us put together some streaks."
"Yeah, we didn't play great, but we played two good teams and went 3-4. You don't want to beat yourself up too much. We could definitely hit more, but we've been scoring runs all year. We know that's going to come back." -- Teixeira, on the road trip vs. the Astros and Angels
Yankees: After an off-day on Thursday, the Yankees will return home on Friday as the host the Rays at 7:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (4-3, 3.88 ERA) will make his 10th start of the season. Tanaka has permitted a career-high three homers in consecutive starts and will be trying to make the necessary mechanical adjustments.
Angels: The Angels, also off on Thursday, will face Josh Hamilton for the first time since trading him in late April when they open a three-game series against the Rangers in Arlington at 5:05 p.m. PT Friday. Garrett Richards (8-5, 3.54) will start for the Halos.
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