Yankees bang up Angels early in 11-1 rout
The New York Yankees obliterated the Angels on Saturday night, batting around in the first and second innings of an 11-1 victory in Angel Stadium, and boy, was third base coach Phil Nevin’s arm tired.
Nevin’s left shoulder was so worn out from waving runners home in the first two innings that by the time Gleyber Torres hit a run-scoring single to push New York’s lead to 10-0 in the second inning, Nevin sent Neil Walker around third with a little flick of the left wrist.
It was that much of a laugher for the visitors, who racked up 14 hits to extend their winning streak to eight games, a stretch in which the Yankees have outscored opponents 62-17.
New York wore down Garrett Richards during a 36-pitch, five-run first inning and put up another five-spot against Richards and reliever Eduardo Paredes in the second.
The huge lead made for a no-stress evening for right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up one run and two hits in six innings, striking out nine and walking two.
Though Richards wasn’t sharp, it was an error by shortstop Zack Cozart that led to four unearned runs in the first inning.
Aaron Judge sparked the rally with a single to center field that left his bat at 118.2 mph, the hardest-hit ball in the majors this season. Didi Gregorius walked and Giancarlo Stanton chopped a grounder to the shortstop hole that squirted out of Cozart’s glove, allowing Judge to score.
Gary Sanchez hit a run-scoring double to left field and Aaron Hicks hit a run-scoring grounder to second. Walker reached on a strikeout/passed ball that allowed Sanchez to score, and Miguel Andujar hit a run-scoring double for a 5-0 lead.
“The Yankees have a deep lineup, but when you give them five outs, you’re gonna pay a price for that, and we did,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Garrett wasn’t making some of the pitches like he needed to, that was obvious. But some of the runs were unearned, which certainly made it a high-pitch-count inning, and Garrett never really got on track in the second.”
New York sent 10 batters to the plate in the second, which featured Judge’s run-scoring double, Hicks’ two-run triple and run-scoring hits by Walker and Torres.
The way the Angels are hitting, they’d need three or four days to overcome a 10-run deficit. After batting .291 and averaging 6.4 runs in their first 16 games, they’re hitting .172 and averaging 2.4 runs in their last 11 games. They were limited to six hits or fewer in nine of those 11 games.
“We’ll turn it around,” Scioscia said. “I’m still extremely confident our offense will be a good part of what gets us going this year.”
A lineup that lost slugger Shohei Ohtani to a mild left-ankle sprain Friday night took another hit Saturday when shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who had five hits and seven RBIs in his last four games, was scratched because of a sore right forearm, an injury he suffered last Sunday when he was hit by a pitch.
A diminished lineup offered little resistance to Tanaka, whose only blemish was a fifth-inning home run to Cozart. Catcher Martin Maldonado extended his streak of at-bats without a hit to 34. Right fielder Kole Calhoun singled in the ninth for his third hit in 43 at-bats.
Ohtani said through an interpreter after the game that his ankle “is feeling a lot better.” He’s confident he’ll be able to hit against the Yankees on Sunday night and pitch against Baltimore on Tuesday, “but it’s not up to me,” he said. “It will be up to the medical staff.”
The Angels will make sure Ohtani doesn’t return too soon.
“In understanding his history, in talking to his manager and pitching coach in Japan, he’s never gonna back down, he’s always going to want to play,” Scioscia said. “So we have to be the ones who make some of the decisions just to make sure he’s 100%.”
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