ANAHEIM -- The roars flowed in cascading waves toward the visiting dugout, making Angel Stadium sound like a West Coast version of The Bronx, and Didi Gregorius was unsure how -- or whether -- he should respond. Aaron Judge pushed his teammate to the top step, where a curtain call
ANAHEIM -- The roars flowed in cascading waves toward the visiting dugout, making Angel Stadium sound like a West Coast version of The Bronx, and Didi Gregorius was unsure how -- or whether -- he should respond. Aaron Judge pushed his teammate to the top step, where a curtain call was accepted some 3,000 miles from the Yankees' home.
"It was a little weird for me, but there's a lot of [Yankees] fans here," Gregorius said, having delivered the deciding homer in the Yankees' wild 4-3, 10-inning victory over the Angels on Friday evening. "I didn't expect that, to be honest. Judge said, 'Give the fans what they want.'"
The Yankees have won a season-high seven straight contests, and a crucial part of that run has been Gregorius, who is providing the Yankees with more than they could have imagined.
Friday's extra-inning blast off Richard Parker was Gregorius' fifth homer in six games and his 10th on the season, giving him a share of the big league lead alongside the Halos' Michael Trout. Gregorius leads the Majors with 30 RBIs and is pacing the American League with 19 extra-base hits.
"Oh my God. He's amazing," Yankees pitcher Luis Severino said. "I don't know how he's doing it, but he's hitting everything. He's doing everything."
Gregorius' memorable shot followed a ninth-inning rally against reliever Keynan Middleton, as Gary Sanchez walked, raced to third on Miguel Andujar's double and scored the tying run on Brett Gardner's pinch-hit sac fly. Player Page for David Robertson set down the Halos in order in the bottom of the inning, sending the game to extras.
"It was something really nice for me, but especially for the team, too," Gregorius said. "We never give up. That's our thing here."
The Yankees prevailed despite Kole Calhoun's dazzling defense, a confusing sequence on the basepaths and Andrelton Simmons' clutch hitting.
Shohei Ohtani homered in his first at-bat before departing with a mild left ankle sprain sustained on a groundout in the fifth. He is considered day to day. Simmons drilled a two-out two-run triple to give the Angels a seventh-inning lead against Severino, who permitted three runs on five hits.
That transpired one inning after New York took the lead in a debated sequence that saw Neil Walker robbed of a three-run homer by Calhoun, with Gregorius scoring the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly before Giancarlo Stanton was ruled to have been doubled off second base.
"I thought it was at least close enough to take a look at. I don't know," said Stanton, who didn't think he left early. "End of the day, it doesn't matter. We came out on top."
Even before that sequence, both benches complained about home-plate umpire Alan Porter's strike zone, prompting the fourth-inning ejection of Yankees bench coach Josh Bard. Aaron Hicks lifted a fifth-inning sac fly off Angels starter Andrew Heaney, who allowed two runs (one earned) and five hits while striking out nine over five innings.
"We feel like our strength is that we can get you in a lot of different spots, and fortunately we were able to outlast them," manager Aaron Boone said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Confusion on the basepaths: Boone said he erred by not signaling for a "boundary play" on the sequence that ended the top of the sixth, when Walker's drive was brought back by Calhoun. Had Boone done so, all aspects of the play would have been reviewed, including Stanton's tag-up at second base.
Boone explained that he was waiting for clarification that Gregorius' run had scored, then he was told he had run out of time to issue a challenge on Stanton making the third out.
"I shouldn't have waited for the challenge," Boone said. "It's a boundary call. If I would have been ahead of it and said, 'Boundary,' then they look at everything in that context."
Stanton said that he checked the replay after the inning, believing that he had waited until Calhoun came down with the ball to break for third base.
"Just to make sure I wasn't crazy," Stanton said. "I could've stayed a little longer."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Giancarlo's glove: Stanton made a pair of nice plays in left field, measured as four-star catches by Statcast™'s ranking system. He took a hit away from Trout in the first inning that had a 43 percent catch probability, covering 91 feet in 4.9 seconds, then he kept Martin Maldonado off the bases in the eighth inning. On that play, Stanton covered 83 feet in 4.6 seconds, also a 43 percent catch probability.
HE SAID IT
"I'm trying to improve my whole game, offensively and defensively. You've still got to try to get better. You can never be satisfied, otherwise the game will pass you by. You can't be bigger than the game. You've always got to keep working. That's what I try to do and try to get better." -- Gregorius
When Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka takes the ball Saturday night at 9:07 ET, he might not get the much-anticipated showdown with Japanese countryman Ohtani he was hoping for. Tanaka held Ohtani hitless over 11 at-bats in Japan in 2013 but hasn't faced him since. Garrett Richards will start for the Halos.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.