Late-inning blasts power Yanks past Angels
What Brian McCann did in the seventh inning Monday night at Yankee Stadium seldom happens. Usually when a player hits a long foul ball over the fence that excites the crowd he almost never follows that with a fair ball over the fence in the same at-bat.
McCann not only accomplished that against the Angels’ Matt Shoemaker but also on the very next pitch. The Yankees catcher missed a home run by a few feet, then smacked the next delivery on a 3-2 count deep into the second deck in right field for his eighth home run.
Yankees fans had not much to cheer about up to that point, but they had barely gotten back into their seats when Starlin Castro jacked a 1-0 delivery into the second deck in left field for his eighth home run. The back-to-back bombs made the score 2-2.
Prior to that, the Yankees had managed only four hits over six innings off Shoemaker, who had retired 12 batters in a row at one point. Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka was trying to keep the Yankees close with another quality start. He allowed two runs on a two-out, RBI single by Albert Pujols in the first inning and a sacrifice fly by Kole Calhoun in the third. With the Yanks tying the score in the seventh, Tanaka came out of the game with his eighth no-decision in 12 starts.
Andrew Miller kept the Stadium crowd of 34,648 electrified in the eighth as he struck out Calhoun, Mike Trout and Pujols in succession. Miller wound up the winning pitcher as the Yanks mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth.
Jacoby Ellsbury, who had ended Shoemaker’s 12 outs in a row run with a double in the sixth, lined a single to right, his third hit of the game. With two down, Ellsbury was a threat to steal and commanded much of Shoemaker’s attention, perhaps too much, as Brett Gardner was able to poke a single to center in front of Trout, who may have given up on the ball too soon.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to turn switch-hitter Carlos Beltran around to the right side and brought in lefthander Jose Alvarez. Beltran joined the home run derby by launching a 0-1 pitch to the opposite field with the ball landing in the lower stands in right field for his 14th home run.
The 5-2 victory was an especially satisfying way to begin the homestand after what happened to the Yankees in Baltimore Sunday at the end of a dismal 4-8 trip. Aroldis Chapman, who sustained his first blown save in Sunday’s stunning, late-inning loss, got a quick shot at redemption and picked up his 10th save. Recent Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre call-up Chris Parmelee made two splendid catches along the first base railing to assist Chapman, whose other out was a strikeout.