The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-1, to prevent being swept in the final game of the series. The Yankees scored as many runs in this game as they had in their previous three games combined.
After the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, as a result of Chase Headley’s single to right that scored Didi Gregorius in the third, Garrett Jones hit what ended up being the game-winning homer. His homer to right field over the scoreboard with two outs was his fifth of the season and first hit in his previous eight at-bats.
The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning on an RBI single to center by Gregorius that scored Brian McCann. Gregorius was 2-4 and has three multi-hit games in his last five contests.
“I just have to keep hitting the ball hard and contribute when I can,” Jones said. “I feel like I saw it in the middle and got a nice smooth hard swing on it. Nate pitched a great game and our bullpen shut them down. You have to tip your cap to them.”
Nathan Eovaldi had what was his best start of the season as he held the Angels scoreless in 5.1 innings. He allowed five hits and held the opposition scoreless for the first time this season. He was taken out of the game after walking Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to load the bases in the sixth inning with one out.
He has rebounded from allowing nine runs in less than an inning against the Miami Marlins in Miami to allow two runs or less in his last three starts. These three starts lowered his ERA from 5.12 to a more respectable 4.52. His improved off-speed pitches have helped him not have to rely on his fastball as much.
“My split has been a lot better for me,” Eovaldi said. “I got a lot of outs with it. Not having to rely on the fastball all the time helps out.” He said that he now trusts and believes in his off-speed pitches more and can throw them in any count.
Eovaldi was able to use his improved command to get Mike Trout and Albert Pujols out after Giavotella was on second with one out in the first inning. Eovaldi had 11 ground ball outs. The Angels went 0-22 with runners in scoring position against the Yankees during the three game series.
Chasen Shreve got Erick Aybar to pop up and David Freese to ground out to third after coming into the game the bases loaded in the sixth. In the seventh, he retired the side in order after striking out Efren Navarro to end the frame.
“He has been doing it all year so we have a ton of confidence in him,” Joe Girardi said. “He throws strikes, he doesn’t walk people and he uses his split really well. He doesn’t beat himself and throws strikes.” Shreve has 15 straight scoreless appearances.
“I just try to focus on the glove and make my pitches,” Shreve said. “I just try to stay focused and stay with my routine.”
Chase Headley played well on offense and defense against the Angels. He had seven assists during the game and went 3-5 with his 29th RBI of the season. This game could get him back on track as he only had one hit in his previous 15 at-bats.
The only run that the Angels scored was a homer by Trout off of Justin Wilson that went just over the fence in right center. Trout’s 21st homer came after Wilson retired Giavotella and Calhoun, which meant that the homer didn’t cause much damage.
Dellin Betances retired the final batter of the eighth inning and pitched out of trouble in the ninth inning for his seventh save of the season and seventh scoreless game in his previous eight.
He walked two batters in the ninth but was able to strikeout Daniel Robertson on curve ball and then strikeout C.J. Cron to end the game. The Yankees are now 36-2 when leading after seven innings.
“We went on a tough road trip, but 3-4 is a lot better than 2-5,” Girardi said.
The Yankees (42-37) went into their off day on a positive note as they are now half a game out of first in the AL East. The Rays and Blue Jays are both one game behind the Baltimore Orioles.