The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, 8-7, for their fourth consecutive win. The game ended up being a lot closer than it should have been since the Yankees were winning 8-1 going into the ninth inning.
Alex Rodriguez passed Stan Musial to move into eighth place on the all-time runs list and his single to right in the fifth that drove in Brett Gardner moved him into sole possession of second place on the all-time RBIs list with 1,997. He passed Barry Bonds and now only trails Hank Aaron (2,297). Rodriguez also had his first four-hit game since he did so in 2011 against the Mets.
It seemed like they would coast to a win after the offense scored eight runs and three pitchers had success in the first eight innings, but Esmil Rogers proved to be unreliable again.
Rogers, who has a 6.39 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP, came into the game to start the ninth and allowed all five batters that he faced to reach base. He allowed a single, a double, a single between first and second that should have been caught, a walk and then a single to Kole Calhoun that drove in Taylor Featherston for the second run of the inning.
Rogers said that he had trouble recovering from when Grant Green’s single that should have been caught landed between Jose Pirela and Chase Headley. Headley moved to first in the ninth because the Yankees had an 8-1 lead, and Mark Teixeria likely would have made the catch, but Rogers should have been able to put that play behind him.
Dellin Betances came in with the bases loaded and allowed his first earned run of the year. He said that he started to think too much and appeared to get frustrated when he allowed a single to the first batter he faced. Betances, after having impeccable control since the second week of the season, walked the next two batters he faced.
After Johnny Giavotella grounded into a fielder’s choice to score David Freese, Betances struck out Carlos Perez to end the game. After allowing his first earned run, Betances now has an ERA of 0.30.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched very well in the first five innings as he held the Angels scoreless up until that point, but he lost his command in the sixth and couldn’t pitch as long as Joe Girardi would have liked. He walked the bases loaded while recording one out in the sixth, and Chasen Shreve bailed him out by only allowing one run to score.
Eovaldi ended with a line of line of 5.1 innings, four hits and four strikeouts. He threw 53 of his 93 pitches for strikes, which caused him to not be able to pitch six innings. However, he got all of his strikeouts on the splitter, and it is a positive sign that he is relying more on that pitch. Eovaldi is now second on the team with his five wins.
“I would have liked to have gone deeper into the game,” Eovaldi said. “Going into the sixth I felt fine. The walks killed me. Overall, I felt really good about the outing. I attacked the hitter well until the sixth.” He also added that the splitter adds a swing and miss pitch.
Mark Teixeira and Stephen Drew were the two Yankees who drove in more than one run. Teixeira, who is second in the AL with 17 homers, hit a homer in the third to drive in Brett Gardner. Drew, who is 5-14 (.357) in his last four games after previously going 0-17, hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo homer in the sixth. Drew, whose homer in the sixth was his seventh of the season, is now tied for the third most homers among second baseman in the AL.
In the sixth inning, Didi Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly to score Brian McCann, and in the seventh inning, Chris Young hit a single to shallow right to score Rodriguez for what ended up being the winning run. Gregorius, who was 0-2 and drove in his first run in his last 10 games, has three multi-hit games in his last five games.
Gregorius made an error in the second with a runner passing in front of him but redeemed himself in the ninth by making a game saving play by making a catch in the hole to get the runner out at second.
The Yankees will look to extend their winning streak to five games with a win on Saturday night. Adam Warren will get the start and has allowed two runs or less in his previous three starts.