Beltran’s 1,000th extra-base hit leads the way
Carlos Beltran started Tuesday night from where he left off Monday night with a two-run home run in the first inning coming on the heels of a three-run homer that lifted the Yankees to a 5-2 victory the previous game. His 15th home run of the season was also Beltran’s 1,000th career extra-base hit and started the Yanks toward a 6-3 verdict.
Earlier Tuesday, Beltran was part of the Yankees’ contingent that visited a cancer patient in the North Bronx as part of the HOPE Week initiative. Starlin Castro was also there to help clean Marybell Ruiz’s apartment, and he also homered for the second straight night. Castro, who tied the score Monday night by following Brian McCann’s solo homer with one of his own, struck the right field foul pole with an opposite-field drive in the third inning for his ninth home run to boost the Yankees’ lead to 5-0 over the Angels and David Huff.
The pitcher’s name should be familiar to Yankees fans. Huff pitched for the Yankees in separate stints in 2013 and 2014 and was 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA. Last month he opted out of a minor-league contract with the Royals to sign with the Angels and drew the starting assignment in place of righthander Nick Tropeano, who is one of 10 Angels players on the disabled list. Huff is a native of Huntington Beach, Calif., in the Halos’ backyard near Anaheim.
After Beltran’s homer in the first inning, the Yankees added a run with help from Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar, who in forgetting how many outs there were lost a shot at a double play. Austin Romine made him pay with an RBI single. Rob Refsnyder, who is looking better and better each day at first base, had a sacrifice fly in the second aided by another Angels error, by Huff on an off-line throw to first base.
On the pitching end, the Yankees received encouraging efforts from starter Michael Pineda and reliever Dellin Betances. Pineda limited the Angels to one hit through the first four innings before hitting a pothole in the fifth as the Halos put up three runs on an RBI single by Gregorio Petit and a two-run home run by Kole Calhoun. Pineda came off the mat, however, and set the Angels down in order in both the sixth and seventh.
A key stolen base by Brett Gardner with two out in the seventh set the stage for an insurance run on a single to right by Alex Rodriguez.
Betances, who had been scored upon in his previous four outings, had a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts. Andrew Miller worked the ninth and one night after earning his third victory without a loss he notched his seventh save.