Major Leagues: Yankees 5, Angels 4
By Solange Reyner
ANAHEIM, Calif. ó Derek Jeter doesn’t think there’s any reason to be alarmed.
The New York Yankees haven’t fared well against two first-place teams in the American League. They are 0-8 against the rival Boston Red Sox, and now 2-4 against the Angels after being swept in Southern California.
John Lackey pitched seven solid innings and the Angels knocked around CC Sabathia to complete a sweep of New York with a 5-4 victory Sunday.
“You can’t change it now. You have to make adjustments,” Jeter said. “What happened against Boston is a long time ago. Here they beat us three games, but we battled.”
So is it a setback?
“I don’t think it is. It’s over now,” Jeter said.
Lackey (4-4) quickly worked through the Yankees lineup, allowing two runs on six hits. The Angels’ ace struck out six in one of his most efficient starts of the season.
“He was spotting up very well today,” said Mark Teixeira, Lackey’s former teammate. “He made pitches when he needed to. John’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the last six or seven years and he showed that today.”
Sabathia (8-6) gave up five runs and struck out six against the Angels, who have won eight of their last nine meetings against the Yankees in Anaheim.
Brian Fuentes struck out Alex Rodriguez for the final out and earned his 26th save in 29 chances.
Sabathia, who was 5-1 with a 2.33 ERA away from Yankee Stadium entering the game, was solid through three innings. He got help from Rodriguez and Robinson Cano on two double plays to get out of the first and third, but he gave up four runs in the fourth.
Bobby Abreu and Howie Kendrick had RBI doubles and Brandon Wood and Robb Quinlan added RBI singles.
“We had some guys go down, but that just shows the depth of the organization,” Chone Figgins said, referring to the loss of All-Star Torii Hunter (strained adductor) and slugger Vladimir Guerrero (strained muscle) to injuries. “Lackey showed why he’s the ace of this team, and we got some clutch hitting and some really good defense. When you do stuff like that, you have the opportunity to win a lot games.”
The Yankees finished 3-3 on their trip before the All-Star break and dropped to 5-15 this season against four teams in first at the break.
“We don’t like it, but we can’t let this carry into Friday. We have four days off, we have a chance to regroup,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.