The white flag went up in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night with the
Then some wild and wacky stuff started happening at Yankee Stadium, where a routine popup dropped between two infielders, a pair of New York relievers couldn't find the strike zone, and a seldom-used Angels reserve with an .034 average banged a double off the left-field wall.
The Angels paired the Yankees' charity with some clutch hits to forge an improbable six-run rally in the ninth, moving to the brink of a historic comeback before setup man
"Oh man, our bench was alive," Scioscia said of the late rally. "We got close. We made them use some pitching, which is a plus. That ninth inning was fun, but unfortunately, we couldn't push another run across."
Jered Weaver put the Angels in a huge hole, giving up seven runs and nine hits, including three home runs that barely cleared the short porch in right field, in 5 2/3 innings, and reliever Edgar Ibarra was touched for a run in the seventh.
The Yankees sent mop-up man
Johnny Giavotella singled to center, and Taylor Featherston, who replaced Aybar at shortstop, doubled to left for his second hit in 30 at-bats this season.
Grant Green, who replaced Trout in the second spot, followed with a popup to the right side. A miscommunication between Headley and Pirela allowed the ball to drop for a run-scoring single that made it 8-2.
Efren Navarro, who replaced Pujols, walked to load the bases, and Kole Calhoun singled for a run that made it 8-3. Out went Rogers. In came Betances, the big right-hander who hadn't given up an earned run in 29 1/3 innings over 26 appearances this season.
David Freese hit a two-run single to center to make it 8-5,
"You're down, 8-1, against a big-league pitcher, there's a slim-to-none chance we can come back," Giavotella said. "But we battled back, we had great at-bats and just kept moving the line. … When we had the bases loaded and Kirk was up, I was like, 'Man, this is right at our fingertips.' "
But it was just out of reach. Nieuwenhuis struck out, and shortstop
Scioscia, thinking the .309-hitting Perez would have a better chance of putting the ball in play than Featherston, sent the backup catcher up to hit. Perez struck out to end the game.
Had the Angels come back and won, it would have matched the largest ninth-inning deficit overcome in franchise history, when they rallied for eight runs in the ninth and beat the
"If the lineup came around again, you'd like to have those guys back in the game," Scioscia said of Aybar, Trout and Pujols. "But down 8-1 in the eighth, we'd do it again. We needed to get them off their feet. Those guys went in there and got it started for us, and they almost finished it off."