The Yankees only had two hits in their 2-1 loss to the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday night. They are now on a three-game losing streak and have scored only one run in all three of those losses. The Yankees could have moved up in the AL East with a win since the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays all lost on Tuesday.
Against Andrew Heaney, who was making his second start of the season and the seventh one of his career, the Yankees did not get a single runner into scoring position. The only run that the Yankees scored off of the No. 1 prospect in the Angels organization after the 2014 season was a solo homer near the rocks in center in the 2nd inning by Mark Teixeira on a low fastball. That was his 19th homer and 54th RBI of the season.
Heaney pitched seven strong innings while striking out seven and only allowing two hits. Brett Gardner, who is now on an eight-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games in that span, had the only other hit off of Heaney. Chris Young, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann, who were the No. 2, 3 and 5 hitters in the lineup, combined to go 0-11 with three strikeouts and two double plays.
“I think overall we had some pretty good at-bats,” Rodriguez said. “We hit a lot of balls hard right at people tonight. The kid had good stuff and pitched a good game. He challenged us all night long with a lot of fastballs and today he was just a little better than us.”
Rodriguez thought that the pitching that he saw from Ivan Nova and Adam Warren can be a sign of what is to come. “What I am most encouraged about is tonight we saw a little preview of hopefully what the rest of the year is going to be like for us with Nova, with Warren, we have (Jacoby) Ellsbury coming back soon and Andrew (MIller),” Rodriguez said. “I am really optimistic about the rest of the year.”
Nova was not as effective as he was in his first start this season when he allowed no runs and three hits in 6.2 innings, but he did pitch very well with runners in scoring position, which helped him only allow only two runs in 5.1 innings even though the Angels had eight hits and two walks off of him. Nova had seven strikeouts and the Angels went 0-7 with runners in scoring position against him.
The Angels won the game because they hit back-to-back homers off of Nova to begin the sixth inning. Albert Pujols, who is a nine-time All-Star and is having his best season since coming to the Angels, hit his league leading 24th homer. Erick Aybar, who is not know for his power, hit his second homer of the season to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.
Warren, who was making his first appearance out of the bullpen since leaving the rotation due to Nova’s return from the disabled list, pitched 2.2 innings while only allowing one hit. He will add another reliable righty reliever to the bullpen. Warren, who had a solid 3.59 ERA in 14 starts this season, had an impressive 2.97 ERA in 69 games out of the bullpen last year.
In the ninth, with longtime closer Huston Street pitching, Young struck out on a check swing and Rodriguez grounded out to third to set off the fireworks and end the game. Street picked up his 298th save and his 51st with the Angels.
During Tuesday’s loss Carlos Beltran aggravated an existing injury to the left side of his ribcage in the fifth inning. He will likely receive an MRI when the team returns to New York after Wednesday’s game. It was announced that the Yankees will call up outfielder Taylor Dugas to replace Beltran.
The Yankees have one more game in Anaheim before returning home. The Yankees, who are half a game out of first in the AL East, have a 21-14 record at Yankee Stadium and a 20-23 record on the road. In the series finale, Nathan Eovaldi (7-2, 4.81 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Matt Shoemaker (4-6, 5.03 ERA) will get the start for Anaheim.