Ivan Nova started the game and once again benefited from his team scoring a lot of runs. He lasted six innings and gave up eight hits while walking two. Nova gave up four runs including two homers while striking out eight Angels. His outing wasn’t the best we’ve seen from Nova, but on this night, it was enough for the win. The win was Nova’s fourteenth straight winning decision in a row. He has not lost a game since June 4, 2011.
The Yankees brought in Rafael Soriano to start the seventh inning with the score, 8-4. But Soriano did not have a good outing to say the least. He walked his first batter and sandwiched another walk and two hits around two hard hit outs. Joe Girardi had seen enough when the Angels had closed the game to 8-5 and still had the bases loaded. Girardi brought in David Robertson. Who else would you want with the bases loaded? And it worked as Robertson induced Mark Trumbo to fly out weakly to right to end the threat.
The game’s momentum had seemingly pushed toward the Angels as that team had scored four runs over the previous three innings to get within three of the Yankees. Robinson Cano walked after Alex Rodriguez grounded out to start the bottom of the seventh. Cano then stole second during a Mark Teixeira strikeout. Nick Swisher had a big two-out single to score Cano and make it a four-run lead again. The Angels then brought in Jason Isringhousen to face Raul Ibanez and that didn’t work out at all as the Yankees’ designated hitter simply crushed a fastball middle-in for the game breaker.
That ended the scoring as Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth and Boone Logan cleaned up by striking out the side in the ninth.
Aside from Soriano, the Yankees bullpen held the game while Angels’ relievers pitched five and a third innings and gave up six runs. And those bad innings followed a terrible first start of the season for Jerome Williams who only lasted two and two-thirds innings and gave up five runs.
The win pushed the Yankees record to 5-4 and pushed the team into a three-way tie for first place in the American League East.
Derek Jeter: Jeter continues his hot hitting and after his two for five game with a double and a homer, now leads the team with a 1.005 OPS.
Raul Ibanez: The Yankees’ designated hitter drove in three runs in the game, the first one and the last two on that mammoth homer.
Robinson Cano: Cano went two for three and walked twice. He scored three runs and stole a base.
David Robertson: That was a big out in the seventh to clean up Soriano’s mess.
Rafael Soriano: The seventh inning went about as bad as a relief outing can get. Brutal outing.
There is the temptation to add Alex Rodriguez here as he went one for five and left a lot of runners on base. But he made three terrific plays in the field at third base. One, a sprawling stop and throw, saved a struggling Nova at a critical time.