Yanks stave off furious rally to edge Angels
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez had four hits and moved past Barry Bonds into second place on the all-time RBIs list, Stephen Drew homered twice and the Yankees withstood a ninth-inning rally to hold off the Angels in an 8-7 victory on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
Rodriguez celebrated his first four-hit game since 2011 as the Yankees thumped starter Jered Weaver for seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, including the third multihomer game of Drew's career and a two-run shot by Mark Teixeira.
"I thought the guys swung the bats really well," Rodriguez said. "For me, the story is Stephen Drew and Teixeira with a big home run. Stephen's going to be big for us coming down the stretch."
The victory was credited to starter Nathan Eovaldi, who worked 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-hit ball. Angels manager Mike Scioscia removed his top hitters in the eighth inning, trailing by seven runs, but Esmil Rogers permitted five men to reach base to begin the ninth, including a Grant Green pop that fell between Jose Pirela and Chase Headley on the right side of the infield.
Dellin Betances was summoned and eventually put out the fire, but not before the Angels scored six times, sent 11 men to the plate and got the potential tying run to third base before Didi Gregorius made a diving stop on a Johnny Giavotella grounder and Betances fanned pinch-hitter Carlos Perez to end it.
"It's definitely not what you're hoping for. You can't give teams extra outs," Headley said. "They're going to keep playing -- and they did. We were fortunate that we were able to get those last couple outs. Didi made a huge play. Huge play. I'm glad that we ended up winning, because that would have been a tough one."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
How do you Drew? Hours after Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he was "encouraged" by what he saw from Drew on the team's recent road trip, the veteran infielder visited the right-field seats twice for his sixth and seventh home runs of the season. The Yanks have been patient with Drew, believing that he has not been rewarded for some of the balls that he has hit hard over the first two months of the season.
"All my preparation and the work I put in seems to be paying off," Drew said. "Little adjustments here and there, and hopefully that keeps going for me." More >
So close: The Angels were 90 feet away from tying the club record for their largest ninth-inning comeback, but with the bases loaded, no outs and the Yankees clinging to an 8-6 lead after five runs had already crossed, Betances retired three straight batters. The first was Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who wasn't pinch-hit for against a lefty with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. The last was Perez, who was pinch-hitting for Taylor Featherston after Featherston lined a double off the left-field wall in his prior at-bat -- his second hit in 30 Major League at-bats.
"We all felt Carlos had a chance to put it in play, find a hole," Scioscia said, while adding that he didn't pinch-hit for Nieuwenhuis in the sixth because Yankees lefty Chasen Shreve had reverse splits. "Taylor had a good at-bat in the ninth inning, but hasn't been getting regular at-bats. We felt Carlos would be a better matchup." More >
Historic night for A-Rod: Rodriguez's fifth-inning RBI single off Weaver marked the 1,997th RBI of his career, surpassing Barry Bonds for second place all time, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Henry Aaron is first on the list with 2,297, according to Elias, though other tallies exist due to historical discrepancies. Rodriguez scored his 1,950th career run in the seventh inning, surpassing Stan Musial (1,949) for eighth place on the all-time list. With four hits Friday, Rodriguez is just nine shy of joining the 3,000 hit club. More >
No place for fly-ball pitchers: After allowing three home runs on Friday, Weaver has now served up 10 homers in 31 innings at the new Yankee Stadium, where he has an 8.71 ERA. That shouldn't come as a surprise. Weaver is a fly-ball pitcher, and Yankee Stadium's short porch in right field is a nightmare for pitchers like Weaver. Drew's homers were projected by Statcast™ to land 352 and 356 feet away, respectively, while Teixeira's was projected to be even shorter at 346 feet.
"Going into it, you know it's not a fly-ball-pitcher-friendly ballpark," Weaver said. "That's why I haven't really had much success here. You get people out in their front foot and get them to pop it up and it turns into a home run. Regardless of that, I need to do a better job of pitching here, obviously. Pretty frustrating. I felt like everything was working." More >
"That would be a really hard one to swallow, if we lose that game."
-- Girardi, on the near meltdown in the ninth
"It was awesome to see us battle back and put together quality at-bats, even when the game seemed out of hand. I was proud to see the team come through like that. Unfortunately, we fell one run short."
-- Giavotella, on the potentially epic comeback
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Weaver has been charged with 19 earned runs in 28 2/3 innings when throwing to Chris Iannetta, who started Friday's game behind the plate, but the right-hander has allowed just eight runs in 36 1/3 innings when throwing to Carlos Perez. Those numbers are somewhat skewed, though, since Iannetta caught most of Weaver's starts when he was still trying to figure out his release point early in the year. Perez caught Weaver's last five starts, but Scioscia said pregame that he isn't assigning personal catchers.
Angels: Garrett Richards (5-3, 3.26 ERA) takes the ball for the second of a three-game series at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday. Richards, coming off major knee surgery last August, posted a 2.29 ERA in his first six starts, but has given up 13 runs (11 earned) in the 18 2/3 innings that have made up his last three outings.
Yankees: Adam Warren (3-4, 3.75 ERA) draws his 11th start of the season on Saturday. Warren matched a career high with seven innings in his last outing on Sunday at Oakland, permitting just two runs, but took the loss as the Yankees were shut out.