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Cano, Grandi-Man Homer Yanks to Stuff Angel
(Photos by Ken Carozza)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, July 14- The Yanks successfully continued their quest to compile the best mark in the majors at the conclusion of the 2012 season with a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday afternoon. The win was their sixth in the last seven contests; their record of 54-33 is the best in MLB.
Yankee starter Freddy Garcia ran into difficulty in the first inning as the first two batters singled and later in the frame were driven across the plate on a single by third sacker Alberto Collapso. Yankees skipper Joe Girardi confessed, “Anytime a pitcher labors in the first inning, you get a little worried.”
Garcia explained the difficulty, “They’re a pretty tough lineup. They don’t swing at a bad pitch.”
Garcia limited the Halos to two hits and one run in the other four innings he pitched. After throwing a season high of 98 pitches, Garcia was lifted after the fifth.
The relievers, Cody Eppley, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano, saved Garcia’s victory by yielding only two hits and no runs in the final four innings. The save by Soriano was his 22nd in 23 save opportunities.
Girardi commented, “It’s hard to say where we’d be without him [Soriano]. He’s beren tremendous.” When asked if he was surprised by Soriano’s superiority as a closer over his work as a setup man, Girardi responded, “A lot of guys thrive when the adrenaline is pumping, so I’m not surprised.”
The win was the fourth straight for Garcia, who lost his first two decisions of 2012. He is especially dominant over the Angels. His mark is 16-3 with an ERA of 2.66, the highest winning percentage of any pitcher against the Halos.
Home runs again controlled the outcome of the contest. Derek Jeter led-off the bottom of the first with an infield single, his 3,202nd base hit. With two out Robinson Cano took a 2-2 pitch into the left field stands to tie the game. The homer extended Cano’s hitting streak to a season high 17 games. He has raised his batting average to a team high .315. The home run was his 10th in the last 24 games.
In the third, Curtis Ganderson broke the tie by driving in two runs with his 24th home run of the season.
The Yankees lead the majors with 138 home runs. They have hit 37 homers in the last 20 contests. They also lead all MLB teams in slugging percentage.
The Angels’ rookie sensation, Mike trout, continues to impress New York fans. He hit successfully in his first three trips to the plate. After singling in the third, he stole second and third. He leads the A.L, with a batting average of .348 and paces the league in steals with 30. In the first two games at Yankee Stadium, he has five hits and four stolen bases.
The finale of the three game series will be played on Sunday afternoon with two 10 game winners on the mound. Ivan Nova (10-3) will face Jered Weaver (10-1).